Pseudocholinesterase (PCHE) deficiency is an inherited condition, in which recovery from anesthetic agents like succinylcholine and mivacurium is slow and complicated with prolonged paralysis of respiratory muscles in susceptible patients. Succinylcholine is used very frequently as a muscle relaxant during the procedure.
In Bakirkoy research and training hospital for psychiatric and neurological diseases, 24.310 patients were hospitalized for acute conditions and 3490 of these patients were treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in 3 years. We present a very rare case that we encountered in our practice; a severe PCHE deficiency case that could have complicated the modified ECT procedure unless necessary precautions were taken.
Detection of PCHE levels of all patients eligible for ECT is part of our pre-ECT assessments procedure, and the case presented here shows the benefits of this method.
The patient is a 29-year-old woman, with a 15 year history of schizophrenia. She was hospitalized for homicidal risk and refusal of treatment. Inadequate clinical response with pharmacological interventions and continuous aggressive excitations directed us to consider ECT.
After the detection of PCHE deficiency (PCHE level: 126 U/L), we performed the modified ECT with propophol and rocuronium instead of succinylcholine as usual. Sugammadex 100 mg was used for fastening the recovery. Response to treatment, which is recorded with positive and negative syndrome scale, was good and we completed 9 ECT sessions without complication.
Screening for PCHE levels in the pre-ECT assessments is efficacious in order to decrease the complications of the ECT procedure.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.