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J Interv Cardiol. 2001 Apr;14(2):223-9.

Catheter closure of the persistent foramen ovale: mid-term results in 162 patients.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.


Four different types of occluder systems were used to close a persistent foramen ovale (PFO) in 162 patients with paradoxical embolic events. Ninety-eight patients had ischemic stroke, 60 transient ischemic attacks (TIA) or prolonged reversible ischemic neurological deficit (PRIND), and 4 had peripheral arterial embolism. The age of the patients was 40.2 +/- 11.9 years and the ischemic event had happened 7 +/- 10 months before device closure. CardioSeal and Amplatzer occluders were the most commonly used devices (73 and 77 cases, respectively). Implantations were successful in all patients. Serious catheter-related complications included two device embolizations and two venous bleedings. Six patients had documented supraventricular arrhythmias within the first month after implantation, which disappeared spontaneously within some weeks without therapy in three patients; the other three patients with atrial fibrillation needed conversion to sinus rhythm. Residual leaks were found in 5 out of 116 patients who had been followed by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and one leak was closed by a second device. During a follow-up period of 19.4 +/- 16.2 months per patient, TIA and PRIND occurred in 3 of 116 patients. Interventional closure of PFO is a simple, effective and quick method that is superior to surgery and avoids the problems of life-long anticoagulation.

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