Patent foramen ovale in young stroke patients

Lancet. 1988 Jul 2;2(8601):11-2. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(88)92944-3.


The prevalence of patent foramen ovale in patients presenting with non-haemorrhagic stroke or transient ischaemic attacks under the age of 40 years was determined by contrast echocardiography. Studies were performed at rest and with a Valsalva manoeuvre in 40 stroke patients and in an age and sex matched control group. Right-to-left shunting was found in 20 (50%) of the stroke patients and 6 (15%) of the controls (p less than 0.001). Paradoxical embolism through a patent foramen ovale may be an under-recognised cause of stroke in young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology*
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / complications*
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / diagnosis
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Valsalva Maneuver