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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2008 Sep;110(8):779-83. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2008.04.012. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Prevalence of atrial septal abnormalities in older patients with cryptogenic ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Hôpital Rangueil, University of Toulouse, Toulouse 31059, France.



To evaluate the association of atrial septal abnormalities--patent foramen ovale (PFO), atrial septal aneurysm (ASA), or the combination of both (PFO+ASA)--with cryptogenic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) in older patients.


We examined the prevalences of PFO, ASA, and PFO+ASA in 132 consecutive patients aged 55 years or more who underwent transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) for evaluation of ischemic stroke or TIA. We compared patients with cryptogenic stroke/TIA and those with stroke/TIA of known cause.


PFO+ASA was more common in patients with cryptogenic stroke/TIA than in patients with stroke/TIA of known cause (12/62 or 19% vs. 2/70 or 3%; adjusted odds ratio, 7.4; 95% CI, 1.4-38.2). Differences between groups for isolated PFO, and isolated ASA were not significant. The association of PFO+ASA with cryptogenic stroke/TIA was confirmed in the subgroup of patients aged 75 years or more (odds ratio, 15.0; 95% CI, 1.5-146.7).


This study indicates a significant association of PFO+ASA with cryptogenic stroke or TIA in older patients.

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