Patent foramen ovale causing position-dependent shunting in a patient, when laying down her corset

Eur Respir J. 2001 Oct;18(4):731-3. doi: 10.1183/09031936.01.00200701.


A 75-yr-old female presented with platypnoea and orthodeoxia, shortly after laying down an old and pinching corset. The injection of activated Haemaccel in the right cubital vene during transoesophageal echocardiography, in the upright position, revealed a direct blood flow from the superior caval vein at a patent foremen ovale, consequently opening it and causing a large right-to-left shunt which was calculated at 28.5%. In the supine position there was only a minimal opening of the patent foremen ovale with a calculated right-to-left shunt of 9.5%. The patent foremen ovale was successfully closed percutaneously with a CardioSEAL.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Female
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Posture*
  • Vena Cava, Superior / diagnostic imaging*


  • Oxygen