Electroconvulsive therapy-responsive catatonia in a medically complicated patient.
ABSTRACT Profoundly depressed states of awareness classified as either catatonia or akinetic mutism have been reported in patients with various general medical conditions including encephalitis, frontal lobe tumors, or paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis. Catatonic features are often difficult to apprise in this context. This can result in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) discontinuation, although it remains the most effective treatment of catatonia.
We describe the case of a patient with a history of unresectable right retroorbital squamous cell carcinoma, status poststereotactic radiation and cisplatin, and subsequent pneumococcal meningitis of the temporal lobe with abscess formation who became catatonic after receiving 3 bitemporal treatments with ECT for severe depression and whose catatonia improved with continued ECT. Furthermore, she demonstrated progressive improvement in mood, interactivity, and overall neurologic function after ECT treatment was completed.
The search for an etiology of a profound catatonic state should include the probability of underlying medical disorder. Although lorazepam may be helpful in some cases, ECT deserves early consideration in catatonia, especially in cases where the underlying cause seems to be uncertain, even if the catatonia begins in the midst of treatment.
The journal of ECT 12/2010; 26(4):243-5. DOI:10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181feb69f · 1.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Major depression has a high incidence in patients with cancer, but treatment guidelines for this vulnerable population are missing and antidepressants seem to be less effective than in patients not affected by cancer. We report the case of a patient with bronchial cancer with a single temporo-occipital brain metastasis that had been treated by radiotherapy (whole-brain radiation, 40 Gy, followed by a stereotactic radiotherapy, 15 Gy). The patient developed a major depressive episode and was successfully treated with electroconvulsive therapy without relevant adverse events. This case further underscores the safety and effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy after radiotherapy of the brain and demonstrates a viable alternative for severely depressed patients with cancer who do not adequately respond to psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy alone.The journal of ECT 06/2012; 28(4). DOI:10.1097/YCT.0b013e318256ce29 · 1.39 Impact Factor