Objectives: To compare propofol and sodium thiopental as anesthetic agents for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in major depression with respect to clinical effect.
Methods: Participants were composed of 96 patients with depression who were administered either propofol or sodium thiopental as an anesthetic agent for bilateral ECT. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was administered at baseline and after 6 treatments. Algorithm-based charge dosing was used.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference between the groups regarding postintervention Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score. The preintervention mean (SD) scores in the propofol group and the sodium thiopental group were 37.3 (2.2) and 36.7 (1.2), respectively. The postintervention mean (SD) scores in the propofol group and the sodium thiopental group were 10.7 (1.8) and 13.4 (3.3), respectively. No correlation was found between clinical response and age, weight, and body mass index. There was no association between the groups’ seizure time and duration of recovery.
Conclusions: In conclusion, propofol may improve major depressive disorder more than sodium thiopental in patients who are receiving ECT.