KET-BD-Sustain: Maintenance Ketamine Infusions for Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Depression

University Health Network, Toronto (Other)
Overall Status
Recruiting ID

Study Details

Study Description

Brief Summary

Growing evidence has supported rapid and robust antidepressant effects with subanesthetic doses of intravenous (IV) ketamine for treatment resistant depression (TRD). However, no completed or ongoing RCTs have evaluated the effects of repeated doses of IV ketamine for a homogenous sample of patients with treatment-resistant bipolar disorder depression (TRBD). The primary research goal is to determine the acute antidepressant efficacy, safety and tolerability of repeated sub-anesthetic maintenance doses of IV ketamine in, over a period of twelve weeks. Open-label ketamine infusions will be provided on a flexible schedule (every 2-4 weeks) with flexible dosing (0.5-1.0mg/kg over 40 minutes) titrated to optimize benefits, while minimizing the dosage and frequency over a 12-week extension period. All patients participating in this open-label study will have completed an acute course of infusions in a parent two-site, phase II, double-blinded midazolam-controlled RCT trial. In addition to this acute course of four infusions, a maximum of six infusions will be provided over the 12-week period. Secondary aims include evaluating effects of IV ketamine on suicidal ideations, quality of life, function and duration of effects. Herein, a two-site (University Health Network and Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence), single-arm, open label, 12-week extension trial evaluating the effects of flexibly-dosed adjunctive ketamine infusions for TRBD to maintain antidepressant effects in participants who achieved an antidepressant response (MADRS decrease by >50%) or remission (MADRS < 12) following an acute course of four ketamine infusions is proposed. The primary outcome will be Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores, determining by a linear mixed model from baseline to week 12. Secondary outcomes include evaluating response and remission rates, safety, tolerability (including treatment-emergent mania), and effects on suicidality, anxiety, quality of life, function and the duration of effects.

Condition or Disease Intervention/Treatment Phase
  • Drug: Ketamine Hydrochloride
Phase 2

Study Design

Study Type:
Anticipated Enrollment :
60 participants
Intervention Model:
Single Group Assignment
None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose:
Official Title:
Maintenance Ketamine Infusions for Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Depression: An Open-Label Extension Trial
Anticipated Study Start Date :
Aug 10, 2022
Anticipated Primary Completion Date :
Jun 30, 2024
Anticipated Study Completion Date :
Aug 31, 2024

Arms and Interventions

Arm Intervention/Treatment
Experimental: Ketamine

Open-label ketamine infusions will be provided on a flexible schedule (every 2-4 weeks) with flexible dosing (0.5-1.0mg/kg over 40 minutes) titrated to optimize benefits, while minimizing the dosage and frequency over a 12-week extension period

Drug: Ketamine Hydrochloride
60 patients will receive ketamine hydrochloride over 12 weeks, flexible dosed between 0.5 mg/kg to 1.0 mg/kg

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures

  1. Change in depression severity using the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) [12 weeks]

    The MADRS is a clinician-rated scale measuring depression severity. It consists of 10 items, each scored from 0 (normal) to 6 (severe), for a total possible score of 60. A higher score is indicative of greater depressive severity Response rates are defined as ≥ 50% decrease and Remission ≤ 10 actual score.

Secondary Outcome Measures

  1. Recruitment and Retention Rates [12 weeks]

    The feasibility of ketamine as a treatment in bipolar disorder will be measured by recruitment and retention rates.

  2. Treatment Emergent Adverse Events [12 weeks]

    Safety will be assessed using patient-reported treatment emergent adverse events.

  3. Quality of Life (QOL) [12 weeks]

    Quality of life will be assessed using the Quality of Life-BD (QOL.BD) scale, which contains 56 questions over 12 domains. uses a 5-component scale that evaluates mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. This scale is numbered from 56 to 280. 280 indicating a high quality of life, while 56 denotes a low quality of life.

Eligibility Criteria


Ages Eligible for Study:
21 Years to 65 Years
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Inclusion Criteria:
  1. Provide written, voluntary informed consent prior to study enrollment. Substitute decision makers will not be allowed to consent to study on a potential patient's behalf.

  2. Male or female between the age of 21 to 65, inclusive.

  3. Meets DSM-5 criteria for Bipolar I or II Disorder, currently experiencing a Major Depressive Episode without psychotic features. Diagnosis confirmed by study psychiatrist at the start of the parent KET-BD randomized clinical trial (RCT).

  4. Participant in the KET-BD RCT 4a. Participants in the ketamine arm of the KET-BD RCT must have experienced an antidepressant response (i.e. change in MADRS score ≥ 50% at day 14 compared to baseline or Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) = 2 'much improved' or 1 'very much improved') or experienced clinical remission of symptoms (i.e., MADRS score < 12 on day 14) 4b. Participants in the midazolam arm of the KET-BD RCT must present as moderately to severely depressed (MADRS >21) on days 14 and 28 of the parent RCT and must be responders or remitters following four flexibly dosed infusions over 2 weeks.

  5. Current depressive episode has inadequate response to two or more adequate first-line treatment trials for bipolar depression, as per the 2018 CANMAT Bipolar Disorder Guidelines. First line treatment trials include the use of lithium, valproate, carbamazepine, lamotrigine and/or any antipsychotic medication. Adequate medications confirmed at the start of the parent KET-BD RCT.

  6. Patient must be receiving guideline-concordant pharmacotherapy without changes in the last month, including a therapeutic dose of a mood stabilizer.

Exclusion Criteria:
  1. Currently exhibiting symptoms of mania, hypomania, or mixed state bipolar, as determined by the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) score greater than 12.

  2. Current symptoms of psychosis or a substance use disorder within the past 3 months. History of psychotic features during a mood episode will not be excluded.

  3. History of neurological disorders (including, but not limited to, uncontrolled seizure disorder, history of stroke within past 12 months, major head injuries, aneurysmal vascular disease [including thoracic and abdominal aorta, intracranial, and peripheral arterial vessels], arteriovenous malformation, or intracerebral hemorrhage)

  4. Lifetime history of a primary psychotic disorder (including, but not limited to, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder)

  5. Lifetime history of ketamine use disorder

  6. Presence of active suicidality, requiring involuntary inpatient treatment or recent suicide attempts within the past 3 months.

  7. Presence of a contraindication to ketamine, including a drug allergy, uncontrolled hypertension (baseline systolic blood pressure > 140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure > 90 mmHg), low or labile blood pressure, myocardial infarction within past 12 months, cardiac arrhythmia, moderate to severe hepatic impairment (i.e., Child-Pugh score of B or C), moderate or severe renal impairment (glomerular filtration rate (GFR) < 45 milliliters/min), heart failure, or coronary artery disease

  8. Pregnant or breastfeeding women or women who intend to get pregnant. Patients who are sexually active must agree to use a highly effective contraceptive method (as outlined in section 5.9).

  9. Use of prohibited concomitant medications, including other forms of ketamine or esketamine, benzodiazepines, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, stimulants, medical or recreational cannabis of any form.

  10. Patients in the ketamine-arm of the parent RCT, that did not reasonably tolerate 4 infusions of flexibly-dosed ketamine, as determined by the investigator and/or patient

Contacts and Locations


Site City State Country Postal Code
1 Canadian Rapid Treatment Center of Excellence (CRTCE) Mississauga Ontario Canada L5C 4E7
2 Toronto Western Hospital Toronto Ontario Canada M5T 2S8

Sponsors and Collaborators

  • University Health Network, Toronto


None specified.

Study Documents (Full-Text)

None provided.

More Information


None provided.
Responsible Party:
Rodrigo Mansur, Principal Investigator, University Health Network, Toronto Identifier:
Other Study ID Numbers:
  • 21-5963
First Posted:
Apr 21, 2022
Last Update Posted:
Aug 11, 2022
Last Verified:
Aug 1, 2022
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD:
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product:
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:

Study Results

No Results Posted as of Aug 11, 2022