Selection of patients for percutaneous closure in nonlacunar cryptogenic stroke associated with patent foramen ovale. Data from the NORDICTUS cooperative registry

Neurologia (Engl Ed). 2022 Nov 5;S2173-5808(22)00145-6. doi: 10.1016/j.nrleng.2022.09.008. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: There is an extending use of percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) as therapy for PFO-associated cryptogenic strokes. The aim of our study was to investigate the clinical practice of percutaneous closure of PFO and to analyse the variables for decision-making on the selection of patients for this procedure.

Method: A prospective observational multicentric survey was conducted using all the cases of cryptogenic stroke/transient ischaemic attack associated with PFO recorded in the NORDICTUS hospital registry during the period 2018-2021. Clinical data, radiological patterns, echocardiogram data and factors related to PFO-associated stroke (thromboembolic disease and paradoxical embolism criteria) were recorded. The indication for closure was analysed according to age (≤/> 60 years) and the characteristics of the PFO.

Results: In the group ≤ 60 years (n = 488), 143 patients (29.3%) underwent PFO closure. The most influential variables for this therapy were detection of a high-risk PFO (OR 4.11; IC 2.6-6.5, P < .001), criteria for paradoxical embolism (OR 2.61; IC 1.28-5.28; P = .008) and previous use of antithrombotics (OR 2.67; IC 1.38-5.18; P = .009). In the > 60 years group (n = 124), 24 patients had PFO closure (19%). The variables related to this option were history of pulmonary thromboembolism, predisposition to thromboembolic disease, paradoxical embolism criteria, and high-risk PFO.

Conclusions: The detection of a high-risk PFO (large shunt, shunt with associated aneurysm) is the main criterion for a percutaneous closure-based therapy. Other conditions to consider in the eligibility of patients are the history of thromboembolic disease, paradoxical embolism criteria or the previous use of antithrombotics.

Keywords: Cierre percutáneo; Foramen oval permeable; Ictus; Patent foramen ovale; Percutaneous closure; Stroke.