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Paradoxical emboli in children and young adults: role of atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale device closure. Mayo Clin Proc 2006 May;81(5):615-8



Pubmed ID





OBJECTIVE: To describe a multicenter experience with patent foramen ovale (PFO) and atrial septal defect (ASD) device closure for presumed paradoxical emboli in children and young adults (<35 years old).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Medical records were reviewed of patients who had device closure of an ASD or PFO, who were younger than 35 years, and who had a history of presumed paradoxical embolus between January 1999 and August 2005 at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, University of Parma, Parma, Italy, and Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Ill.

RESULTS: Forty-five patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Median patient age was 29.0 years (range, 5.0-34.9 years), and 23 patients (51%) were male. Clinical diagnoses included the following: stroke, 30 (67%); transient ischemic attack, 13 (29%); myocardial infarction, 1 (2%); and renal infarct, 1 (2%). Overall, 42 patients (93%) had a PFO, and 3 (7%) had an ASD. Seventeen patients had known cardiovascular disease risk factors: tobacco use (10 patients), hypercoagulable states (7 patients), systemic hypertension (3 patients), and hyperilpidemia (2 patients). No major procedural complications occurred. Median follow-up evaluation was performed at 5.3 months (range, 2.5-40.0 months). Forty-four patients (98%) had no recurrent neurologic events and no residual atrial shunt by contrast transthoracic echocardiography.

CONCLUSIONS: Cryptogenic ischemic events occur in young patients and have serious sequelae. The potential for paradoxical embolization through a PFO or an ASD should be assessed in all such patients. In our short-term follow-up, device closure was a safe alternative therapeutic option for children and young adults with presumed paradoxical emboli.

Author List

Bartz PJ, Cetta F, Cabalka AK, Reeder GS, Squarcia U, Agnetti A, Aurier E, Carano N, Tchana B, Hagler DJ


Peter J. Bartz MD Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Child, Preschool
Embolism, Paradoxical
Heart Septal Defects, Atrial
Ischemic Attack, Transient
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a