Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale after presumed paradoxical embolism.
BACKGROUND Many have proposed a relation between presence of a patent foramen ovale, with or without atrial septal aneurysm, and cryptogenic stroke. The effect of foramen ovale closure on the risk for subsequent strokes is unknown.
METHODS AND RESULTS Transcatheter closure of a patent foramen ovale was undertaken in 36 patients with known right-to-left atrial shunting and presumed paradoxical emboli (31 strokes, 25 transient neurological events, four systemic arterial emboli, and two brain abscesses). Individual patients had between one and four such events. None had a left heart or carotid source of embolism; 31 of 35 had no known risk factors for stroke. Events occurred in 12 patients while they were taking warfarin. At cardiac catheterization, patent foramina ovalia were significantly larger than predicted for age in 67% of the patients. Implantation of a double-umbrella device in the patent foramen ovale was achieved in all without serious procedural complications. Of 34 who have returned for follow-up, one has a residual atrial communication that may be clinically important, five had trivial leaks, and 28 have complete closure. There have been no strokes during a mean follow-up of 8.4 months.
CONCLUSIONS Transcatheter closure of a patent foramen ovale can be accomplished with little morbidity and may reduce the risk of recurrence. Further investigations directed toward identifying the population at risk and assessing the effect of intervention are warranted.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association