Inherited pseudocholinesterase deficiency refers to an uncommon defect in the butyrylcholinesterase enzyme which can result in prolonged muscle paralysis due to delayed breakdown of choline ester paralytic anaesthetic agents. We describe a 25-year-old woman receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for treatment of depression in whom motor function did not recover adequately after administration of succinylcholine. Investigated post-ECT, she was found to have severe pseudocholinesterase deficiency. Implications of pseudocholinesterase deficiency for ECT treatment and anaesthetic strategies are discussed.
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