Electroconvulsive therapy-induced Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome: a case report

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. Sep-Oct 2013;35(5):575.e7-8. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2013.02.004. Epub 2013 Mar 19.


Objective: Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is characterized by premature ventricular excitation due to the presence of an abnormal accessory pathway. Electrocardiography (ECG) of patients with WPW syndrome portrays a short PR interval and a wide QRS interval with a delta wave.

Methods: Herein, we report the case of a patient with schizophrenia who developed a wide QRS interval with a delta wave immediately following electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Results: Initially, the delta wave disappeared within 2 days after ECT. However, the duration of the delta wave increased exponentially to 4 months when ECT was repeated.

Conclusion: Although the patient's cardiocirculatory dynamics remained normal, we continued to monitor her ECG until the delta wave disappeared because WPW syndrome can lead to serious arrhythmia.

Keywords: Arrhythmia; Autonomic nervous system; Electroconvulsive therapy; Schizophrenia; WPW syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / etiology*
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / physiopathology