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November 1949

EXTRACELLULAR FLUID AND PLASMA VOLUMES IN DEPRESSED PATIENTS GIVEN ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPY

Author Affiliations

WAVERLEY, MASS.

From the Clinical Services and Laboratory of Clinical Physiology, McLean Hospital, and the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch NeurPsych. 1949;62(5):618-623. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1949.02310170093007
Abstract

IT HAS LONG been known that patients with depressions usually exhibit rapid gain in weight in association with, or preceding the onset of, spontaneous remissions. A similar gain in weight is usually noted in patients who improve during the course of electroconvulsion therapy, although in some of them a small initial loss is not uncommon. In patients who show a rapid gain in weight in association with electroshock, the increase usually amounts to 3 to 5 pounds (1.3 to 2.3 Kg.) accumulated over a period of three or four days. At times larger increases may occur; in an extreme instance seen at this hospital a patient gained 14 pounds (6.4 Kg.) in seventy-two hours. Occasionally edema of the ankles may be noted. The rapidity of the gain and the occasional appearance of edema made it clear that much of the gain must be consequent to water retention. Accordingly, it was

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