Patent foramen ovale closure following cryptogenic stroke or transient ischaemic attack: Long-term follow-up of 301 cases

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2015 Nov 15;86(6):1078-84. doi: 10.1002/ccd.26080. Epub 2015 Jun 23.


Patent foramen ovale has been identified as a conduit for paradoxical embolism resulting in cryptogenic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). We aimed to establish rates of death, recurrent stroke or TIA among patients undergoing PFO closure for stroke or TIA at our unit. A retrospective analysis of all PFO closure patients was performed between May 2004 and January 2013. Follow up was performed by mortality tracing using the Medical Research Information Service of the Office of National Statistics. With regard to stroke or TIA recurrence, written consent forms and questionnaires were mailed with follow up telephone calls. Medical notes and imaging records were consulted where adverse events were noted. 301 patients aged 48.6 ± 11.0 years, 54.4% male, with ≥1 thromboembolic neurovascular event had percutaneous PFO closure with one of eight devices, with successful implantation in 99% of cases. Follow-up duration was 40.2 ± 26.2 months (range 1.3-105.3); complete in 301 patients for mortality (100%) and 283 patients (94.0%) for neurovascular events. Two patients died during follow-up (respiratory failure n = 1; road traffic accident n = 1). Recurrent stroke (MRI or CT confirmed) was observed in five patients (0.5%; 0.55 per 100 person-years) and TIA in 9 (1.1%; 0.98 per 100 person-years). Atrial fibrillation requiring treatment was documented in 14 patients (1.7%). Percutaneous PFO closure in patients with cryptogenic stroke or TIA is a safe treatment with a low incidence of procedural complications and recurrent neurovascular events. Registry data like these may help to demonstrate the utility of PFO closure in stroke.

Keywords: patent foramen ovale; percutaneous closure; stroke; transient ischaemic attack.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foramen Ovale, Patent / complications*
  • Foramen Ovale, Patent / mortality
  • Foramen Ovale, Patent / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / mortality
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / therapy
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Septal Occluder Device*
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome