Treatment of catatonia with electroconvulsive therapy in an 11-year-old girl

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;42(3):251-3. doi: 10.1080/00048670701827317.


Objective: To report the case of an 11-year-old girl who presented with acute onset of psychotic symptoms with catatonic features treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Method: Described herein is the case of an 11-year-old, prepubertal girl who represented with catatonic symptoms unresponsive to conventional medical treatment. After thorough clinical investigation and obtaining a second opinion we gained consent from her parents to perform ECT as a life saving procedure.

Results: Six ECT treatments were administered with clinical improvement, the patient did develop hypomanic symptoms as a side-affect of ECT.

Conclusion: The patient exhibited potentially life-threatening self-harming behaviour secondary to catatonic and psychotic symptoms. Her behaviour and symptoms responded to ECT. The patient developed hypomania that responded to mood stabilization. ECT was a safe and effective treatment for catatonia in this prepubescent girl.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Catatonia / drug therapy
  • Catatonia / psychology
  • Catatonia / therapy*
  • Child
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / drug therapy
  • Hallucinations / psychology
  • Humans
  • Olanzapine


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Olanzapine