Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2013 Apr;11(1):34-38.

Follow-up Study on Electroconvulsive Therapy in Treatment-resistant Depressed Patients after Remission: A Chart Review

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan.


OBJECTIVE: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has proven to be effective in treatment-resistant depression (TRD). In recent reports, 70% to 90% of patients with TRD responded to ECT. However, post-ECT relapse is a significant problem. There are no studies investigating risk factors associated with reintroducing ECT in depressive patients after remission previously achieved with former ECT. The aim of the present study is to examine such risk factors using a sample of TRD patients.
We conducted a chart review to examine patient outcomes and adverse events over short- and long-term periods. Forty-two patients met the criteria for major depressive disorder.
The response rate was 85.7% (36/42). There were no significant differences in the baseline characteristics of patients exhibiting remission, response or non-response. The rate of adverse events was 21.4% (9/42). Among 34 patients who were available for follow-up, 18 patients relapsed (relapse rate, 52.9%), and 6 patients were reintroduced to ECT. The patients' age and age of onset were significantly higher in the re-ECT group than non re-ECT group.
Our results suggest that older age and older age of onset might be considered for requirement of re-ECT after remission previously achieved with former ECT.


Electroconvulsive therapy; Treatment resistant depression; Aging; Drug therapy
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