Baylor Heart Hospital Plano - Five Star Treatment For Your Heart. And You
 
5-Star Difference
For Patients & Visitors
For Health Professionals
Medical Specialties
Login
Return to the Homepage
Physician Finder
Pre-Registration
Email Executive Leadership
5-Star Careers
My Personal Login
Newsletter Sign-up

Quick Links

  • The Heart Hospital

    Baylor Plano

    1100 Allied Drive
    Plano, TX 75093
  • The Heart Hospital

    Baylor Denton

    2801 S. Mayhill Road
    Denton, TX 76208
  • Appointments and Referrals

    1.800.4BAYLOR
  • For Assistance in Reaching a Patient

    469.81HEART
    (469.814.3278)
  • Toll-Free
    877.814.4488



Patent Foramen Ovale
 
Basic Facts
Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a condition in which a small flap-like opening in the atrial septum, the muscular wall that separates the two upper heart chambers, fails to seal after birth.
PFO is a relatively common condition; 25 percent of people are born with PFO.
Although it rarely causes symptoms, PFO can lead to a heart attack or stroke by allowing blood clots to enter the bloodstream and lodge in a coronary artery or an artery in the brain.
Treatments for PFO that causes symptoms focus on prescribing anticlotting drugs or on sealing the opening through surgery or minimally invasive procedures.
Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a flap-like opening in the atrial septum that allows blood to flow from the right side of the heart to the left side of the heart.

PFO typically only requires treatment if the patient is suspected of having a traveling blood clot called a paradoxical embolism. Treatment ranges from medications to surgical procedures.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

PFO generally causes no symptoms, but they can include cyanosis.

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS

The cause of PFO is unknown.

DIAGNOSIS

PFO is diagnosed using the following tests:
  • Echocardiography;
  • Transesophageal echocardiography;
  • Contrast echocardiography;
  • Duplex ultrasonography;
  • Cardiac catheterization; and
  • Transcranial Doppler.
TREATMENT APPROACH

Treatment for PFO is generally considered unnecessary unless paradoxical embolism occurs. In that case, physicians first use antithrombotic medication.

Open surgery or minimally invasive procedures are indicated when patients don't respond to medications.

In open surgery, the physician opens the chest to gain access to the heart. The physician can stitch the PFO closed or make a graft to close larger holes.

For minimally invasive procedures, the physician threads a catheter through an artery to the heart and places an occluder in the opening, which seals the opening.

Copyright © 2014 NorthPoint Domain, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material cannot be reproduced in digital or printed form without the express consent of NorthPoint Domain, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distribution of NorthPoint Domain's Content is an infringement of the copyright holder's rights.
Terms and Conditions   |   Feedback   |   Privacy Statement

Developed and hosted by Cardiology Domain.
© Copyright 2000-2014. NorthPoint Domain Inc. All rights reserved.
ICS-PR-WEB02