Pupillary response as assessment of effective seizure induction by electroconvulsive therapy

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is reported to be effective for severe neuropsychiatric disorders. In ECT, electrical stimulation is applied to the brain, inducing seizure activity. Adequate seizure induction with ECT is associated with seizure duration, symmetrical high amplitude waveforms during slow-wave activity, postictal suppression, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic nervous system activation is influenced by anesthetic agents or cardiovascular drugs during ECT. Pupillary responses can reflect sympathetic nervous activity or the degree of brain damage. Pupillary response measurement can be conducted in a simple, precise, and objective way using an automated infrared pupillometer, enabling the measurement of pupil diameter (mm) to two decimal places. The white light used for measuring light reflexes is not overly bright, and patients do not typically report discomfort. Pupillary light reflexes were measured before anesthesia induction and immediately after electrical stimulation using this equipment. Pupil diameter is typically enlarged after brain damage or sympathetic nervous activation. Adequate seizure induction using ECT could induce pupillary enlargement immediately after electrical stimulation. In the current method, the constriction ratio of pupil size was calculated automatically and compared with seizure quality. Pupillary responses immediately after electrical stimulation may provide a useful assessment of the efficacy of seizure induction with ECT.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere59488
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number146
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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