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J ECT. 2016 Mar;32(1):17-9. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0000000000000251.

Electroconvulsive Therapy Under General Anesthesia With Cisatracurium, Laryngeal Mask Airways, and Bispectral Index.

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From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, Aviation General Hospital of China Medical University & Beijing Institute of Translational Medicine, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing; †Department of Anesthesiology, Weifang Medical University, Weifang City, Shandong Province, China; and ‡Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.



Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has dramatically reduced musculoskeletal complications when carried out with muscle relaxants under general anesthesia. However, seizure quality can be affected by the depth of anesthesia and choice of anesthetic agent. The purpose of this study was to describe a general anesthetic technique for ECT by using laryngeal mask, bispectral index (BIS), and muscle relaxant monitoring.


Twenty-one patients, between ages 18 and 70 years (American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I-III), who underwent a total of 89 sessions of ECT were examined in a retrospective study. Anesthesia was induced by use of propofol (1.0 mg/kg) followed by cisatracurium (0.2 mg/kg). The BIS, train-of-four, and end-tidal carbon dioxide were all monitored continuously. A laryngeal mask airway was used to maintain and protect the airway during the procedure. Electroconvulsive therapy stimuli were applied bilaterally when the train-of-four was assessed as being zero and BIS scores were 70. All patients then received 5 μg sufentanil and 2 mg midazolam, while titrated to maintain the BIS value at 40 to 50, before the muscle relaxation exhibited complete recovery.


The mean duration of treatment process takes approximately 82.5 minutes. Mean (SD) seizure length was 58.8 (28.3) seconds, with 4.5% incidence of restimulation per treatment. Incidence of awareness was 0%. No patients exhibited delirium, nausea, vomiting, or myalgia in the postseizure phase.


Bispectral index monitoring of the depth of anesthesia may have improved seizure quality, and awareness did not occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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