Comparative effects of esmolol and labetalol to attenuate hyperdynamic states after electroconvulsive therapy

Anesth Analg. 1995 Mar;80(3):557-61. doi: 10.1097/00000539-199503000-00022.


We studied 18 patients (age range, 53-90 yr) with at least one cardiovascular risk factor who were treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and compared effects of five pretreatments: no drug; esmolol, 1.3 or 4.4 mg/kg; or labetalol, 0.13 or 0.44 mg/kg. Each patient received all five treatments, during a series of five ECT sessions. Pretreatment was administered as a bolus within 10 s of induction or anesthesia. Doses of methohexital and succinylcholine were constant for the series of treatments and the assignment to no drug or to drug and dose was determined by randomized block design. Measurements of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP) and heart rate (HR) were recorded during the awake state and 1, 3, 5, and 10 min after the seizure. The deviation of ST segments from baseline was measured by an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor equipped with ST-segment analysis software. The results (mean +/- SEM) show that without pretreatment, there were significant (P < 0.05) peak increases in SBP and HR (55 +/- 5 mm Hg and 37 +/- 6 bpm, respectively), recorded 1 min after the seizure. Comparable reductions (by approximately 50%) in these peak values were achieved after esmolol (1.3 mg/kg) or labetalol (0.13 mg/kg), and cardiovascular responses were nearly eliminated after the same drugs in doses of 4.4 and 0.44 mg/kg, respectively. The deviation of ST-segment values from baseline in any lead was not measurably influenced by either antihypertensive drug. SBP values were lower after labetalol 10 min after the seizure, but not after esmolol. Asystolic time after the seizure was not significantly longer with either drug.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Labetalol / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Premedication
  • Propanolamines / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Propanolamines
  • esmolol
  • Labetalol