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Patent Foramen Ovale:The Known and the To Be Known

Authors
Journal
Journal of the American College of Cardiology
0735-1097
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
59
Issue
19
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.09.085
Keywords
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Cryptogenic Stroke
  • Migraine
  • Patent Foramen Ovale
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Design
  • Medicine

Abstract

The patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a normal interatrial communication during fetal life that persists after birth in approximately 1 of every 4 adults. PFO is a potential route for embolic transit from the systemic venous circulation to the brain. Though there is compelling circumstantial evidence implicating PFO, the precise role of PFO in the pathogenesis of cryptogenic stroke is not yet established. Several randomized trials of transcatheter PFO closure versus medical management are ongoing. Results of these trials may improve our ability to select the best treatment for individual patients. Further well-designed studies are necessary to address several unresolved issues related to PFO stroke and PFO migraine pathophysiology, and to identify the patients who would most likely benefit from PFO closure. The purpose of this review is to summarize contemporary understanding, discuss current treatments, and explore some of the knowledge gaps pertaining to the clinical significance of PFO.

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