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Percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale

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Abstract Aim:

To review the safety and efficacy of percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) in symptomatic patients without the use of general anaesthesia or echocardiographic guidance. Method:

All patients accepted for percutaneous PFO closure by our service from August 2002 to August 2004 were included. Patient demographics and clinical information were obtained from clinical records and by telephone interview. Follow-up outcomes recorded were recurrence of systemic thromboembolism, residual shunt, and change in pattern of migraines. Results:

Forty consecutive adult patients, of whom 19 (48%) had an atrial septal aneurysm (ASA), underwent PFO closure using the Amplatzer occluder device with fluoroscopic guidance alone. Their mean age was 45 ± 10 years (range 23–63 years) and 24 (60%) were male. The indications for closure were ischaemic stroke (n = 26), transient ischaemic attack (TIA) (n = 8), both stroke and TIA (n = 2), refractory hypoxia (n = 2), platypnoea-orthodeoxia (n = 1) and severe migraine with seizures (n = 1). Twenty patients suffered a single neurological event and 16 suffered >1 event, including six with only radiographic evidence of >1 event. Mean procedure time was 17.7 ± 9.6 min and fluoroscopy time was 6.7 ± 7.3 min. Implanted device sizes were 18 mm (n = 1), 25 mm (n = 37) and 35 mm (n = 2). In 33 patients, the procedure was performed as a day-case. No complications were encountered. No further neurological events occurred in 39 patients at a mean follow-up time of 11 ± 7 months (3–25 months) nor was a significant shunt detected in the 34 who underwent follow-up echocardiography. Conclusions:

Percutaneous closure of PFO with or without ASA, under local anaesthesia and without echocardiographic guidance, is a safe and effective procedure which can be performed as a day-case. This has now become our standard clinical practice. (Intern Med J 2005; 35: 706–710)

Keywords: Amplatzer device; patent foramen ovale; transcatheter closure

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Green Lane Cardiovascular Service 2: Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology Service, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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