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"The placement of a totally implantable venous-access device (TIVAD) could be an alternative to overcome these difficulties in certain subjects" Macau et al (2021).

Implantable port to support electroconvulsive therapy


Objectives: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective and safe treatment of certain severe mental disorders, but there are some barriers to the implementation of continuation/maintenance ECT courses in some cases. Repeated difficulties in achieving intravenous access before each session may contribute to premature ECT discontinuation. The placement of a totally implantable venous-access device (TIVAD) could be an alternative to overcome these difficulties in certain subjects.

Methods: For the present study we retrospectively identified all patients treated with continuation/maintenance ECT in our facilities during a 13-year period to which a TIVAD was implanted, paying attention to specific factors related to clinical characteristics, treatment course, and ECT technique.

Results: We identified a TIVAD in 16 (3.33%) of 481 patients receiving ECT in our unit, of whom 87.5% were female. Half of the cases met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) criteria for schizophrenia, 6 for bipolar disorder, and 2 for major depression disorder. Age of the study cases ranged from 17 to 87 years. A total of 1957 ECT sessions were registered in this group of cases during the observation period. Patients had undergone a mean of 124.06 ± 132.41 ECT sessions before the TIVAD was implanted, with the device mean time of utilization being 5.39 ± 3.46 years. In 2 cases, the device was removed after ECT discontinuation. Few incidents associated with the implantation and operation of the TIVAD were registered, comparable to the use of this device in other clinical contexts.

Conclusions: This case series suggest that a TIVAD placement can be an effective and safe solution for patients in continuation/maintenance ECT courses with difficult intravenous access. Future studies will need to carefully monitor the benefit and the potential complications of TIVAD placement in patients undergoing continuation/maintenance ECT programs.


Macau E, Valero R, Gil-Badenes J, Valentí M, Baeza I, Pacchiarotti I, Bioque M. Totally Implantable Venous-Access Device in Maintenance Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Retrospective Case Series. J ECT. 2021 Jun 1;37(2):e9-e12. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0000000000000744. PMID: 34029306.