[Electroconvulsive therapy in treatment of depression]

Ugeskr Laeger. 2007 Apr 16;169(16):1447-50.
[Article in Danish]


ECT is the most powerful treatment of severe melancholic/ psychotic depression. A treatment series consists of 8-12 sessions, given 3 times a week under anaesthesia, muscle relaxation and artificial ventilation with 100% oxygen. EEG, EMG, EKG and pulse oximetry are monitored. Benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants and lithium salts should be avoided during treatment with ECT. Ambulatory single ECT sessions with an interval of 3-4 weeks (maintenance-ECT) is recommended in drug-resistant depression. In Denmark, 5% of all patients admitted to psychiatric departments were treated with ECT; 18% of patients diagnosed with depression were given ECT. ECT is a safe and sometimes life-saving treatment.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome