Safety of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Patients Receiving Long-term Warfarin Therapy

Mehta, Vinay; Mueller, Paul S.; Gonzalez-Arriaza, Heydy L.; Pankratz, V. Shane; Rummans, Teresa A.
November 2004
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Nov2004, Vol. 79 Issue 11, p1396
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the safety of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in patients receiving long-term warfarin therapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospective data were reviewed for 35 consecutively hospitalized patients who received long-term warfarin therapy and ECT at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, between January 1, 1994, and December 31, 2001. RESULTS: A total of 300 ECT treatments were administered to the 35 patients. Of 284 ECT treatments for which data were available, no ECT-related complications due to anticoagulation occurred despite increases in blood pressure and pulse rate. One patient experienced ventricular tachycardia, resulting in transfer to a cardiology service for temporary monitoring, No other serious ECT- related adverse effects were noted. The rate of lntertreatment delirium was similar to that reported in other studies. CONCLUSIONS: Electroconvulsive therapy in patients receiving long-term warfarin therapy appears to be safe Although no major adverse effects were Identified in our case series, additional prospective evaluation is warranted.


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