Vol. 6 No. 1 (2020)
Case Report

Safe Administration of Subanesthetic Ketamine Infusions in a Heart Transplant Patient

Louis Tsichlis
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine

Published 2020-06-30


The method of treating bipolar disorder through subanesthetic ketamine infusions is becoming increasingly common. Particularly, patients with bipolar disorder who are refractory to other forms of mood stabilizing treatment are seeking the alternative avenue ketamine provides. Several factors exist, however, that act to hinder patients from seeking this avenue of treatment, the first of which being ketamine’s hallucinogenic properties. Another factor that may hinder a patient’s decision in seeking ketamine treatment is its sympathomimetic effect in stimulating adrenergic receptors while inhibiting muscarinic receptors. Due to this effect, a seeming contraindication exists in patients with underlying heart conditions. Although this seeming contraindication exists, successful treatment of bipolar disorder symptoms in a patient with previous heart transplant in this case report demonstrated ketamine’s potential to be administered safely in patients with underlying heart conditions.