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J ECT. 2011 Mar;27(1):73-6. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181da846a.

How is electrocardiogram influenced by electroconvulsive therapy in males and females?

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Gaziantep University School of Medicine, Gaziantep, Turkey. aysemizrak@mynet.com



We aimed to investigate and compare the P duration and P dispersion (Pd) between male and female patients with a primary diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia disorder before and after the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) period.


We obtained electrocardiograms of 50 healthy young volunteers which included 25 female (group F, n = 25) and 25 male patients (group M, n = 25). We measured minimum and maximum P wave durations (Pmin, Pmax) and Pd in milliseconds. Electrocardiography was performed before electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and immediately after the ECT period after awakening. A 12-lead surface electrocardiogram was obtained from each subject in the supine position.


The post-ECT P duration was significantly longer than the pre-ECT P duration in groups F and M (P = 0.01 and P = 0.008, respectively). The post-ECT Pd was significantly longer than the pre-ECT Pd in groups F and M (P = 0.0001 in both groups). A higher correlation (r) in group M was observed between the pre-ECT Pd and post-ECT P duration than in group F (r = 0.538, P = 006 in group M; r = 0.349, P = 08 in group F). There was no significant difference between the groups regarding hemodynamics.


Electroconvulsive therapy in both sexes may influence atrial conduction as evidenced by the significantly prolonged Pmax and Pd in patients with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia disorder.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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