The superiority of ketofol and etomidate against propofol or thiopental anesthesia for ECT

S. Can Gurel*, Hayri Can Ozden, Sevilay Karahan, Yavuz Ayhan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Most anesthetic drugs used for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have dose-dependent anticonvulsive effects, counter-acting seizure induction, lowering seizure quality. However, a consummate drug for ECT anesthesia has not yet been established. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of etomidate, thiopental, propofol and co-administration of ketamine-propofol (ketofol) on seizure quality and hemodynamic safety.

METHODS: Registries of 121 patients (1077 sessions) were retrospectively evaluated. The effects of anesthetics on ECT-related parameters (stimulation charge, central seizure duration, number of failed stimulation trials, mean arterial pressure, and peak heart rate) were analyzed via linear mixed-effects models.

RESULTS: Overall, the seizure duration decreased, and the stimulation charge increased in time with continuing sessions within a course of ECT. The decrease in seizure duration and the increase in required stimulation charge was significantly lower with etomidate and ketofol. Additionally, ketofol was significantly related to a lower number of failed stimulation trials compared to propofol. Ketofol and propofol use was associated with a significantly lower postictal mean arterial pressure.

CONCLUSION: Ketofol and etomidate were equivalently superior in the rate of decrease in seizure duration and the required elevation in stimulus charge, which would interpret into valuable clinical guidance, especially for "seizure resistant" patients, and their use may potentially lower ECT related cognitive side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103090
Number of pages7
JournalAsian Journal of Psychiatry
Early online date1 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • EEG
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Etomidate
  • Ketamine
  • Propofol
  • Thiopental

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