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June 1951

EFFECT OF ELECTROSHOCK ON THE BLOOD PRESSURE IN PSYCHOTIC PATIENTS

Author Affiliations

NEW HAVEN, CONN.

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University Medical School, and the Connecticut State Hospital, Middletown, Conn.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;65(6):740-751. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320060083010
Abstract

REMARKABLY few studies of the effect of electroshock on the blood pressure in animals or humans have appeared in the literature of recent years, although this subject found considerable attention in the early decades of this century.1 With the invention of the modern electroshock apparatus2 this problem was reinvestigated. Bini3 and Delay,4 using dogs, found that for 10 to 15 seconds immediately following an electroconvulsion the systolic blood pressure oscillated or fell slightly, while the diastolic blood pressure either remained unchanged or fell. With the beginning of a grand mal seizure the systolic blood pressure quickly rose to markedly hypertensive levels, while the diastolic blood pressure remained relatively unchanged. The systolic hypertension persisted for 60 to 180 seconds, even after complete cessation of the convulsions. The systolic and diastolic blood pressures then dropped gradually to below pretreatment values, remaining at hypotensive levels from several hours to

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