Pulmonary embolism after ECT

J ECT. 2005 Mar;21(1):39-40. doi: 10.1097/01.yct.0000152572.27344.f5.


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe procedure, infrequently associated with life-threatening complications. Pulmonary embolism (PE) as a complication of ECT has been rarely reported. We describe a nonfatal case of PE that developed during ECT in a 50-year-old man with depression, hypertension, and diabetes. He developed symptoms of PE immediately upon awakening from the eighth right unilateral ECT, which was later confirmed by spiral chest computed tomography. We review the literature, discussing risk factors relevant to the pathophysiology of PE and making suggestions about the management of patients with suspicious symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods