The safety of electroconvulsive therapy in patients with prolonged QTc intervals on the electrocardiogram

Samuel J. Pullen, Keith G. Rasmussen, Elizabeth R. Angstman, Fernando Rivera, Paul Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations


Background: Prolonged QTc intervals have been associated with increased cardiac morbidity and mortality. We investigated whether pretreatment prolongation of the QTc interval was associated with increased cardiac-related events (CREs) in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatment of psychiatric disorders. Methods: The charts of 1437 ECT patients were reviewed for the presence of baseline QTc prolongation. Broadly defined CREs during the course of treatment were abstracted from patient charts. Results: Presence of baseline QTc prolongation was not independent of increased risk of CREs during ECT. Implications: Careful consideration should be given to patients who have QTc prolongation on an electrocardiogram and are undergoing ECT treatment, but this should not definitively exclude patients from receiving ECT treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of ECT
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • arrhythmia
  • Lectroconvulsive therapy
  • prolonged QTc interval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)

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