Effects on Intracranial Pressure of Electroconvulsive Therapy

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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is thought to raise intracranial pressure (ICP) after an increase of blood pressure. In depressed patients (n = 17) treated with ECT, using transcranial Doppler, pulsatility index (PI; as indicator of ICP) and blood pressures were prospectively measured. The highest PI was measured just after anesthesia induction and muscle relaxation. Blood pressures increased significantly after succinylcholine and thereafter but did not correlate to PI. After anesthesia and muscle relaxation, the PI was higher than just before ECT; the PI was lower during seizure activity and after ECT. Therefore, ECT itself seemed not to raise ICP.

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