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World J Cardiol. 2014 Jan 26;6(1):1-3. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v6.i1.1.

Percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale: "Closed" door after the last randomized trials?

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  • 1Joel Hernandez, Raul Moreno, Department of Interventional Cardiology, University Hospital La Paz, 28045 Madrid, Spain.


Patent foramen ovale (PFO) percutaneous closure has previously been an accepted intervention for the prevention of recurrent cryptogenic stroke on the basis of observational studies. However, randomized trials have been lacking until now. Three recently published randomized trials (CLOSURE I, PC and RESPECT) do not demonstrate the superiority of this intervention versus optimal medical therapy, therefore making this practice questionable. Nonetheless, these trials have had certain pitfalls, mainly a lower than initially estimated number of patients recruited, therefore lacking sufficient statistical power. On the other hand, different closure devices were used in the three trials. In two of them (PC and RESPECT), the Amplatzer PFO Occluder was used and the STARflex device was used in the other one (CLOSURE I). Taken altogether, a meta-analysis of these three trials does not demonstrate a statistically significant benefit of percutaneous PFO closure (1.9% vs 2.9%; P = 0.11). However, if we analyze only the PC and RESPECT trials together, in which the Amplatzer PFO Occluder was used, a statistically significant benefit of percutaneous PFO closure is observed (1.4% vs 3.0%, P = 0.04). In conclusion, our interpretation of these trials is that the use of a dedicated, specifically designed Amplatzer PFO device could possibly reduce the risk of stroke in patients with PFO and cryptogenic stroke. This consideration equally applies to patients who have no contraindications for anticoagulant or antithrombotic therapy.


Closure; Cryptogenic; Device; Foramen; Ovale; Patent; Percutaneous; Risk; Stroke

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