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Am J Cardiol. 2007 May 1;99(9):1316-20. Epub 2007 Mar 20.

Five-year experience with percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale.

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Department of Medicine (Division of Cardiology) and Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Patent foramen ovale (PFO) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cryptogenic stroke, arterial desaturation, decompression illness, and migraine headache (MH). This study evaluated the safety of percutaneous transcatheter PFO closure in patients with cryptogenic stroke, transient ischemic attack, or arterial desaturation. Additionally, symptomatic reduction in MH was determined after interatrial shunt closure. Of the 252 patients referred to the University of California, Los Angeles, with PFO, 131 underwent closure of the interatrial communication with a CardioSEAL (n = 30) or Amplatzer (n = 101) device. PFO morphology was evaluated with transesophageal echocardiography. Follow-up was conducted at 1 to 2 months with echocardiography, with clinical assessment annually thereafter. At an average follow-up of 30 months, there was no recurrence of any thromboembolic event (transient ischemic attack, stroke, or peripheral). There was a reduction in MH, defined as the complete resolution of headache or a >50% reduction in the number of headache days, in 85% of patients after PFO closure. Temporary problems after device implantation, including chest discomfort and palpitations, were reported in 23% of patients and occurred more frequently in patients with nickel hypersensitivity (p <0.05). In conclusion, transcatheter PFO closure is an effective and safe therapeutic modality in the prevention of thromboembolic events and MH associated with interatrial shunting in patients who present with cryptogenic stroke. Pending randomized, controlled trials are necessary to determine if this invasive approach is preferable to medical therapy for the prevention of recurrent stroke or as primary treatment for patients with MH.

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