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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 51 (2009) 10, 761 - 767

Case report

Myotonic dystrophy as a contraindication for electroconvulsive therapy?

L.M.L. Wynhoven, M.J.W.T. Scherders, J.A. van Suijlekom

A 57-year-old woman with medication-resistant major depression was referred to our clinic for electroconvulsive therapy. After an extensive evaluation of our patient's condition we concluded that in this case the comorbid myotonic dystrophy was a contraindication for the performance of electroconvulsive therapy. However, in the current Dutch Psychiatric Association guidelines this illness is not mentioned as a possible contraindication for electroconvulsive therapy. This raises the question of whether myotonic dystrophy should now be incorporated in these guidelines and makes us wonder to what extent our conclusion could have consequences for the treatment of other neuromuscular illnesses.


keywords contraindication, depression, electroconvulsive therapy, myotonic dystrophy