Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in a six-year-old girl suffering from major depressive disorder with catatonic features

Taghi Esmaili, Ayyoub Malek
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2007, 16 (1): 58-60

OBJECTIVE: ECT is generally both effective and safe in the treatment of adolescents, but treatment using ECT in children of pre-pubertal age has been less reported and is a controversial treatment.

CLINICAL PICTURE: This article reports a 6-year-old girl who has been diagnosed as having major depressive disorder with catatonic features and 50% loss of weight due to food refusal.

TREATMENT: The seven-session ECT treatment with bilateral and brief pulse stimulation was successfully done. Propofol 1% was used for anesthesia.

OUTCOME: After the third session, the patient's clinical improvement began by eating. As the ECT sessions went on the signs of depression and catatonic features completely resolved. There were no noticeable clinical side effects.

CONCLUSION: ECT should be considered in severe cases of child psychiatric disorders where it is life threatening, as an effective and safe method.

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