Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used to treat major depressive illness, especially in elderly and medically frail patients. Not uncommonly, these patients have cardiac pacemakers or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Only a few case reports in the literature describe the use of ECT in such patients. Herein we review our ECT experience treating 26 pacemaker patients and 3 ICD patients. All patients obtained significant antidepressant benefits with ETC. Only one serious cardiac event occurred, a case of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) requiring a stay on the cardiac intensive care unit. The SVT resolved and the patient went on to receive further uncomplicated ECT treatments. We conclude from this experience that with proper pre-ECT cardiac and pacemaker/defibrillator assessment, ECT can be safely and effectively administered to patients with an implanted cardiac device.
- Cardiac pacemaker
- Electroconvulsive therapy
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine