Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-23

Effects of electrical stimulus composition on cardiac electrophysiology in a rodent model of electroconvulsive therapy


1 Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chittaranjan Andrade
Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_88_18

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Background: No electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) study on humans or in animal models has so far examined whether differently composed electrical stimuli exert different cardiac electrophysiological effects at constant electrical dose. The subject is important because cardiac electrophysiological changes may provide indirect information about ECT seizure quality as modulated by stimulus composition. Materials and Methods: Adult female Wistar rats (n = 20/group) received fixed, moderately suprathreshold (18 mC) electrical stimuli. This stimulus in each of eight groups was formed by varying pulse amplitude, pulse width, pulse frequency, and stimulus duration. The electrocardiogram was recorded, and time and frequency domain variables were examined in 30 s epochs in preictal (30 s before electroconvulsive shock [ECS]), early postictal (starting 15 s after stimulation), and late postictal (5 h after ECS) periods. Alpha for statistical significance was set at P < 0.01 to adjust for multiple hypothesis testing. Results: Cardiac electrophysiological indices in the eight groups did not differ significantly at baseline. At both early and late postictal time points, almost no analysis yielded statistically significant differences between groups for four time domain variables, including heart rate and standard deviation of R-R intervals, and for six frequency domain variables, including low-frequency power, high-frequency power, and total power. Conclusions: Cardiac electrophysiological measures may not be helpful to identify differences in seizure quality that are driven by differences in the composition of electrical stimuli at constant, moderately suprathreshold electrical dose. The generalization of this conclusion to threshold electrical doses and to human contexts requires a study.



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