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01.04.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 8/2016

European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 8/2016

Does remifentanil improve ECT seizure quality?

Zeitschrift:
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience > Ausgabe 8/2016
Autoren:
Verònica Gálvez, Phern-Chern Tor, Adriana Bassa, Dusan Hadzi-Pavlovic, Ross MacPherson, Mincho Marroquin-Harris, Colleen K. Loo

Abstract

Studies have reported that co-adjuvant remifentanil can enhance electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) seizure quality, putatively by allowing a reduction in the dosage of the main anaesthetic agents, as the latter have anticonvulsant properties. However, whether remifentanil also has direct effects on ECT seizure quality, and by implication, treatment efficacy, is unknown. This is the first study examining the effect of adjuvant remifentanil on ECT seizure quality when the dose of conventional anaesthesia remained unchanged. A total of 96 ECT sessions (from 36 patients) were retrospectively analysed. Subjects received ECT with and without remifentanil (1 µg/kg), while the dose of thiopentone (3–5 mg/kg) or propofol (1–2 mg/kg) was unchanged. Seizure quality indices (time to slow wave activity or TSLOW, amplitude, regularity, stereotypy, post-ictal suppression) and duration were assessed through a structured rating scale by a single trained blinded rater. Linear mixed-effects models with random subject effects analysed the effect of remifentanil on seizure parameters, controlling for other variables that can affect seizure quality or duration. Remifentanil was given in 47.9 % of the ECT sessions. Co-adjuvant remifentanil had no effects on any of the seizure quality parameters analysed [TSLOW (E = −0.21, p > 0.1), amplitude (E = 0.08, p > 0.5), regularity (E = −0.05, p > 0.5), stereotypy (E = −0.02, p > 0.5), suppression (E = −0.3, p > 0.05)] or on seizure duration (E = −0.25, p > 0.1). While adjuvant remifentanil may be a useful strategy for reducing anaesthetic dosage in ECT, present evidence suggests that remifentanil does not have intrinsic properties that enhance ECT seizures.

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