Background: Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a widespread procedure, but no randomized study on its outcome in high-risk patients is available. Our aims were to determine the efficacy and safety of this procedure in a cohort of high-risk patients through the observation of clinical adverse events and residual shunt, to evaluate the impact of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) guidance during the procedure, and investigate the relationship between the anatomical and clinical characteristics and the outcome. Methods and Results: Ninety-five patients underwent PFO closure for cryptogenic cerebral ischemia; each of them presented one or more of the following risk factors: recurrent cerebral ischemia (9.5%), atrial septum aneurysm (ASA, 74.5%), prominent Eustachian valve (EV, 23.2%), severe basal shunt (9.5%), thrombophilic factors (20%), deep vein thrombosis (4.2%). The procedure was performed successfully in all patients. On median follow-up of 18 months, the neurologic recurrent events rate was 1.1% and the major adverse cardiac event (MACE) rate was 1.1%. At 6-month TEE follow-up, the residual shunt rate was 12.6% (3.1% moderate to severe). A significant correlation was found between residual shunt and prominent EV alone (P = 0.036) or in association with ASA (P = 0.021). All adverse events occurred in the first 8 months, and the event-free survival rate was 86.2%. Conclusions: Our study suggests that transcatheter PFO closure is a safe procedure even in a selected population of high-risk patients, presenting satisfactory efficacy and safety. The presence of a prominent EV alone or with ASA correlates positively with the occurrence of residual shunt.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging