RECENTLY PUBLISHED

THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION/AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION (AHA/ASA) RELEASED UPDATED GUIDELINES ON SECONDARY STROKE PREVENTION, WITH A RECOMMENDATION FOR PFO CLOSURE.

The guidelines state that “it is now considered reasonable to close patent foramen ovale percutaneously in selected patients: those with younger age with nonlacunar stroke or no other cause at any age.”

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What is a Patent Foramen Ovale or PFO?

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Icon pfo 1 2x

About 1 in 4 people have a hole in their heart called a PFO¹

Before birth, all babies have a hole in the heart called the foramen ovale. This hole allows babies to get blood and oxygen through the umbilical cord. The foramen ovale normally closes after birth. In about 25% of people, this hole doesn’t close all the way.¹ When the hole remains open, it’s called a patent foramen ovale, or a PFO.

The foramen ovale remains open post-birth

Pfo figure 1 2x Before birth Open foramen ovale
Pfo figure 2 2x Post birth Natural closure of the foramen ovale
Pfo figure 3 2x Post birth Foramen ovale remains open, creating a PFO

Can a PFO cause stroke?

Learn how a PFO can lead to stroke
Reference
  1. Kent DM, Thaler DE. Is patent foramen ovale a modifiable risk factor for stroke recurrence? Stroke. 2010;41(10 Suppl):S26-30. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.595140
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