Introduction of vagus nerve stimulation into a maintenance electroconvulsive therapy regimen: A case study and cost analysis

Department of Psychiatry, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.
Journal of Ect (Impact Factor: 1.39). 07/2007; 23(2):114-9. DOI: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3180616647
Source: PubMed


This case report describes the outcome of a patient implanted with the vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) device while receiving maintenance electroconvulsive treatment (M-ECT) and compares the costs of treatment options for treatment-resistant depression.
The patient, a male, aged 47 years with bipolar I disorder, treatment-resistant depression, and a 13-year history of depressions, was receiving M-ECT at 2-week intervals as well as antidepressant medications when he was implanted with the VNS device. His depression was assessed with the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale. The cost analysis of treatment modalities placed M-ECT at $800 to $1000 per treatment and VNS at approximately $3900 annually (surgery, device, and office visits, approximately $31,300, was prorated over 8 years).
Antidepressants and other medications were used in combination and were gradually changed while the patient was receiving electroconvulsive therapy. The patient improved with VNS and was able to discontinue M-ECT. His Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale scores had fluctuated between 2 and 56, but, after VNS, the scores decreased to a level consistent with remission and have remained at those levels. The patient reported feeling as well as he had felt at any time he could remember, began an exercise program, and lost 30 lbs. During the 10 months before implantation, 14 electroconvulsive therapy treatments cost $11,200 to $14,000. For 10 months after implantation, 7 M-ECT treatments ($5600-$7000) plus prorated VNS ($3250) equaled $8850 to $10,250, $2350 to $3750 less than before implantation.
This patient improved with VNS and was able to discontinue M-ECT. Introducing VNS effected a cost savings over M-ECT.

12 Reads
  • Source
    • "On ne constate pas de troubles cognitifs ni d'interaction pharmacologique. La réalisation d'ECT est possible [8] [46] comme le recours à la rTMS [41] chez les patients porteurs d'un stimulateur VNS. M a n u s c r i p t "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Resistance to psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic therapies is a frequent difficulty clinicians are confronted to, with a frequency of 20 to 30 % concerning depression disorders. Other therapeutic approaches hence seem unavoidable to optimize treatments: structured psychotherapies such as behavioural and interpersonal therapies have shown their efficiency in anxiety and depression disorders, psychoeducational approaches help better observance in chronic pathologies. Biological and non medicinal approaches such as electroconvulsive therapy are still a therapy of reference for treating mood disorders and remain an indication for resisting schizophrenic disorders.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2010 · Annales Médico-psychologiques revue psychiatrique
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vagus nerve stimulation is a safe and reliable treatment adjunct for patients with medically intractable epilepsy. It is both a preventive and abortive form of therapy, potentially effective against both partial and generalized seizures in adults and children. Vagus nerve stimulation also has a number of serendipitous effects on mood, memory and attention, and has been approved for the treatment of refractory depression. Owing to its pleiotropic effects, it also holds promise for several other diseases. Its principal limitations are its unknown mechanism of action, the low likelihood of complete cure and the inability to predict which patients will derive substantial benefit. This article reviews the theoretical rationale, practical background and clinical applications of vagus nerve stimulation therapy.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for various psychiatric conditions, and it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of refractory depression. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration also approved vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for chronic or recurrent depression. Although electrical stimulation is used for both ECT and vagus nerve stimulation, the mechanisms of their action are very different. The American Psychiatric Association task force identifies no absolute contraindications to the use of ECT. The authors present 2 interesting cases of successful ECT in combination with vagus nerve stimulator.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2008 · The journal of ECT
Show more