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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2007 October;55(5):681-91

language: English

Percutaneous closure of the patent foramen ovale

Surmely J.-F., Meier B.

Swiss Cardiovascular Center Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland


A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a common finding present in 25% of the population. A relationship between PFO and several clinical conditions such as stroke, migraine, platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome, neurological decompression illness in divers, high altitude pulmonary edema, sleep apnea, and economy class syndrome have been documented. Observa-tional non-randomized studies have shown percutaneous PFO closure more effective than medical treatment for stroke prevention, in particular in patients with complete closure as well as in patients with more than one cerebrovascular event at baseline. In the case of migraine, PFO closure has been shown to result in a marked reduction in migraine burden or migraine days. PFO anatomy, epidemiological data on associated clinical conditions, comparison between percutaneous closure and medical treatment, as well as the technical aspect of the procedure are described in this review.

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