Safety of electroconvulsive therapy in patients receiving long-term warfarin therapy

Mayo Clin Proc. 2004 Nov;79(11):1396-401. doi: 10.4065/79.11.1396.

Abstract

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 intertreatment 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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Normalized Ratio
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage*

Substances

  • Anticoagulants
  • Warfarin