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Am Heart J. 2009 May;157(5):867-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2009.02.019.

Percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale and atrial septal defect in adults: the impact of clinical variables and hospital procedure volume on in-hospital adverse events.

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Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale/atrial septal defect (PFO/ASD) is an increasingly common procedure perceived as having minimal risk. There are no population-based estimates of in-hospital adverse event rates of percutaneous PFO/ASD closure.


We used nationally representative data from the 2001-2005 Nationwide Inpatient Sample to identify patients >or-=20 years old admitted to an acute care hospital with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code designating percutaneous PFO/ASD closure on the first or second hospital day. Variables analyzed included age, sex, number of comorbidities, year, same-day use of intracardiac or other echocardiography, same-day left heart catheterization, hospital size and teaching status, PFO/ASD procedural volume, and coronary intervention volume. Outcomes of interest included length of stay, charges, and adverse events.


The study included 2,555 (weighted to United States population: 12,544 +/- 1,987) PFO/ASD closure procedures. Mean age was 52.0 +/- 0.4 years, and 57.3% +/- 1.0% were women. Annual hospital volume averaged 40.8 +/- 7.7 procedures (range, 1-114). Overall, 8.2 +/- 0.8% of admissions involved an adverse event. Older patients and those with comorbidities were more likely to sustain adverse events. Use of intracardiac echocardiography was associated with fewer adverse events. The risk of adverse events was inversely proportional to annual hospital volume (odds ratio [OR] 0.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.86-0.96, per 10 procedures), even after limiting the analysis to hospitals performing >or=10 procedures annually (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.85-0.98). Adverse events were more frequent at hospitals in the lowest volume quintile as compared with the highest volume quintile (13.3% vs 5.4%, OR 2.42, 95% CI 1.55-3.78).


The risk of adverse events of percutaneous PFO/ASD closure is inversely correlated with hospital volume. This relationship applies even to hospitals meeting the current guidelines, performing >or=10 procedures annually.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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