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J Clin Psychiatry. 1992 Jan;53(1):12-5.

Simultaneous major depression and panic disorder: treatment with electroconvulsive therapy.

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Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, St. Louis 63110.



Major depression and panic disorder commonly occur together. Patients with simultaneous depression and panic disorder may have a higher lifetime rate of suicide attempts and an overall worse prognosis than patients with either depression or panic disorder alone. In addition, preliminary work suggests that some of these patients may not respond satisfactorily to antidepressants. In this report, we describe the clinical courses of eight consecutive patients with simultaneous major depression and panic disorder who were referred for ECT at our institution.


Eight consecutive patients who met DSM-III-R criteria for simultaneous major depression and panic disorder received ECT. All eight patients were evaluated by a structured clinical interview and the patients' major depression and panic disorder were evaluated with a 7-point Clinical Global Impressions severity rating scale.


Before ECT was begun, each subject's panic disorder and depression were rated as at least markedly ill. After receiving ECT, all eight showed improvement in their depression. In addition, none of the eight patients reported having a panic attack from the time of their fourth ECT treatment until discharge.


In this report, eight consecutive patients with simultaneous major depression and panic disorder improved with ECT. Further work is required which examines the potential utility of ECT in treating these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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