Possible impact of stimulus duration on seizure threshold in ECT

K. G. Rasmussen, C. F. Zorumski, M. R. Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Seizure thresholds were measured in patients treated with right unilateral electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) using 0.9 amp, 0.5 ms constant current pulses at 30 Hz for 0.93-2.8 s. Using these parameters, only two patients failed to seize at stimulus charges ≤75.6 mC. Three patients were excluded from further analysis because they experienced generalized motor or electrographic seizures lasting less than 25 s and 30 s, respectively. The remaining 52 patients had a mean seizure threshold of 48.9 ± 15.3 mC. Seizure threshold was correlated with age, but not sex. These values for seizure threshold are significantly lower than those reported previously using longer pulse- briefer train duration stimuli, suggesting that characteristics of the electrical stimulus influence seizure threshold. These findings have implications for electrical dosing in right unilateral ECT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-180
Number of pages4
JournalConvulsive Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


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