Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is associated with dramatic increases in arterial blood pressure and heart rate (HR) that may precipitate new left ventricular regional wall motion abnormalities (RWMAs) suggestive of myocardial ischemia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of pretreatment with esmolol on the incidence of RWMAs after ECT. Thirteen patients served as their own controls and, in a random fashion, received a standard succinylcholine/methohexital anesthetic for one of two ECT sessions, and an identical anesthetic with esmolol 1 mg/kg for their other ECT session. Systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP), mean arterial pressures (MAP) and HR were recorded after drug administration and before ECT and at 1-, 2-, 4-, 5-, 10- , and 15-min intervals after ECT. Echocardiograms were obtained at baseline, after drug administration, 1 min after ECT, and at recovery 15 min later. All patients had significant increases in SBP, DBP, and MAP at 1,2, and 4 min after ECT versus baseline, whereas HR was significantly faster at all times in the control sessions. HR was significantly slower after anesthetic induction until 2 min after ECT in the esmolol versus the control group (P < 0.05). New RWMAs were seen in only 1 of 26 (4%) ECT sessions, despite the presence of baseline RWMAs in 31% of the patients. We conclude that contrary to previously reported data, new RWMAs after ECT are uncommon. Consequently, this study was unable to demonstrate any beneficial effect of pretreatment with esmolol on the incidence of ECT-induced RWMAs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine