Effectiveness of percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale for hypoxemia

Am J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 15;112(8):1258-62. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.06.022. Epub 2013 Jul 19.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of percutaneous patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure to improve systemic hypoxemia. Although PFO-mediated right-to-left shunt (RTLS) is associated with hypoxemia, the ability of percutaneous closure to ameliorate hypoxemia is unknown. Between 2004 and 2009, 97 patients who underwent PFO closure for systemic hypoxemia and dyspnea that was disproportionate to underlying lung disease were included for evaluation. All patients exhibited PFO-mediated RTLS as determined by agitated saline echocardiography. Procedural success was defined as implantation of a device without major complications and mild or no residual shunt at 6 months. Clinical success was defined as a composite of an improvement in New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class, reduction of dyspnea symptoms, or decreased oxygen requirement. Procedural success was achieved in 96 of 97 (99%), and clinical success was achieved in 68 of 97 (70%). The presence of any moderate or severe interatrial shunt by agitated saline study (odds ratio [OR] = 4.7; p <0.024), NYHA class at referral (OR = 2.9; p <0.0087), and 10-year increase in age (OR = 1.8; p <0.0017) increased likelihood of clinical success. In contrast, a pulmonary comorbidity (OR = 0.18; p <0.005) and male gender (OR = 0.30; p <0.017) decreased the likelihood of success. In conclusion, based on the largest single-center experience of patients referred for PFO closure for systemic hypoxemia, PFO closure was a mechanically effective procedure with an associated improvement in echocardiographic evidence of RTLS, NYHA functional class, and oxygen requirement.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foramen Ovale, Patent / complications
  • Foramen Ovale, Patent / diagnostic imaging
  • Foramen Ovale, Patent / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / blood
  • Hypoxia / etiology
  • Hypoxia / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Oxygen