Patent foramen ovale: a new disease?Int J Cardiol 2007; 122(1):1-9IJ
Patent foramen ovale is a frequent remnant of the fetal circulation. Affecting approximately 25% of the adult population. Its recognition, evaluation and treatment has attracted increasing interest as the importance and frequency of its implication in several pathologic processes, including ischemic stroke secondary to paradoxic embolism, the platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome, decompression sickness (DCS) (an occupational hazard for underwater divers and high altitude aviators and astronauts) and migraine headache, has become better understood. Echocardiographic techniques have emerged as the principle means for diagnosis and assessment of PFO, in particular contrast echocardiography and transcranial Doppler. Its treatment remains controversial with a general tendency to propose a percutaneous closure among the symptomatic patients.