Sudden Cardiac Death After ECT

Author(s): Ole J. Thienhaus

Electroconvulsive therapy is known to be one of the safest methods of treating major depressive episodes. One of the rare complications attributable directly to ECT, rather than general anesthesia, concerns cardiac death in vulnerable patients. The case presented here raises the issue that routine work-up can miss warning signs of cardiac pathology in high risk patients. A history of cocaine use disorder suggests echocardiography to rule out cardiomegaly.

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