A common finding, reported in up to 15% to 20% of subjects undergoing contrast echo.
Usually asymptomatic but may be associated with cryptogenic stroke.
Atrial septal aneurysm is a risk factor for PFO, and when present in combination is associated with an increased risk of CVA.
Asymptomatic patients are generally observed without medical intervention.
In patients with cryptogenic stroke or TIA, antiplatelet therapy or anticoagulation is indicated.
In patients with recurrent stroke or TIAs despite antiplatelet agents, the patent foramen ovale may be closed percutaneously with a closure device.
Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is the persistent patency of a congenital opening or foramen ovale in the interatrial septum, which normally closes after birth. Notably, PFO is a potential cause of paradoxical embolism leading to CVA.
History and exam
Kul Aggarwal, MD, MRCP, FACC
Professor of Clinical Medicine
University of Missouri
KA declares that he has no competing interests.
Vibhuti Singh, MD, FACC
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of South Florida College of Medicine
Division of Cardiology
Bayfront Medical Center
VS declares that he has no competing interests.
Navin Nanda, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director Heart Station and Echocardiography Laboratories
University of Alabama at Birmingham
NN declares that he has no competing interests.
Andrew Turley, MB ChB
Cardiology Specialist Registrar
The James Cook University Hospital
AT declares that he has no competing interests.
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