Percutaneous Closure of Patent Foramen Ovale in Patients With Paradoxical Embolism
Long-Term Risk of Recurrent Thromboembolic Events
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Background—Patients with a patent foramen ovale (PFO) and paradoxical embolism are at risk for recurrent thromboembolic events. This study investigated the long-term risk of recurrent thromboembolic events in patients with PFO and paradoxical embolism after percutaneous PFO closure.
Methods and Results—Since 1994, a total of 80 patients with PFO and at least 1 paradoxical embolic event (transient ischemic attack [TIA], cerebrovascular accident [CVA], peripheral embolism) have undergone percutaneous PFO closure with 5 different devices. There were 30 women and 50 men, with a mean age of 52±12 years. Sixty patients had only a PFO, whereas 20 patients had both a PFO and an atrial septal aneurysm. The implantation procedure was successful in 78 patients (98%). During 5 years of follow-up (mean, 1.6±1.4 years; range, 0.1 to 5.0 years), the actuarial annual risk to suffer a recurrent thromboembolic event was 2.5% for TIA, 0% for CVA, 0.9% for peripheral emboli, and 3.4% for the combined end point of TIA, CVA, or peripheral embolism. A postprocedural shunt was a predictor of recurrent paradoxical embolism (RR, 4.2; 95% CI, 1.1 to 17.8; P=0.03). The risk for recurrent thromboembolic events in patients with both atrial septal aneurysm and PFO was not significantly increased compared with patients with only PFO (RR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.2 to 4.7; P=0.95).
Conclusions—Percutaneous PFO closure appears to be a promising technique in the prevention of recurrent systemic thromboembolism in patients with a PFO after a first event. Prospective studies comparing percutaneous PFO closure with antithrombotic medications or surgery must define its therapeutic value.
- Received June 24, 1999.
- Revision received September 16, 1999.
- Accepted October 1, 1999.
- Copyright © 2000 by American Heart Association