Pseudocholinesterase deficiency and electroconvulsive therapy

Joseph Williams, Peter B. Rosenquist, Lorraine Arias, William Vaughn McCall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Clinically significant pseudocholinesterase deficiency is a relatively uncommon disorder, but when present, it presents clinicians with challenges regarding medication administration. This is especially true in cases of patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), as the presence of pseudocholinesterase deficiency limits the use of certain muscle relaxants. The authors describe a patient receiving ECT for treatment of his depression, who also possessed an unsuspected pseudocholinesterase deficiency. This was diagnosed after the patient was given succinylcholine, did not spontaneously recover motor function, and eventually required intubation. Subsequent ECT treatments were then managed with an alternative muscle relaxant which was not dependent on pseudocholinesterase for termination of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-200
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of ECT
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Cholinesterase
  • ECT
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Pseudocholinesterase
  • Pseudocholinesterase deficiency
  • Rocuronium
  • Succinylcholine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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