Paradoxical embolus caught in transit through a patent foramen ovale.J Card Surg 2011; 26(2):151-3JC
Diagnosing a paradoxical embolism is challenging, and it can be proven only if the thrombus is identified across the intracardiac defect. Very few cases have been diagnosed as an impending paradoxical embolism. Recently, the diagnosis and management of these entities have greatly improved with the advent of transesophageal echocardiography (compared with transthoracic echocardiography). Pulmonary hypertension may cause right-to-left shunting across a patent foramen ovale and predispose development of a paradoxical embolism. We report a patient with an impending paradoxical embolism that was caught in transit across the patent foramen ovale. The patient was treated successfully with emergent surgery.