Electroconvulsive therapy in pregnancy

Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Aug;110(2 Pt 2):465-6. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000265588.79929.98.


Background: Electroconvulsive therapy for the treatment of depressive and bipolar disorders has been advocated as being safe and effective in pregnancy.

Case: A primigravida underwent multiple electroconvulsive treatments during pregnancy for the diagnosis of major depression. The infant was subsequently born with multiple deep interhemispheric infarcts.

Conclusion: Despite reassuring statements regarding the safety of electroconvulsive therapy, this case report and a review of the literature suggests that electroconvulsive therapy during pregnancy should be performed with caution.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / therapy*
  • Brain Infarction / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Prenatal Injuries / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety