Doctor insights on:
Patent Foramen Ovale And Pregnancy
A hole in the heart: A patent foramen ovale (pfo) is a necessary hole between two upper chambers of the heart. This hole allows fetal blood circulation to occurr. Once the baby is born, circulation changes, the hole closes to allow normal post natal human circulatuin pathway. It remains open in a small number of patients and is usually asymptomatic. ...Read more
Foramen ovale is one of the physiological shunts in the fetal heart between right and left atrium. It closes shortly after newborn period, when systemic blood pressure rises and takes over the pulmonary pressure and aorta begins to supply the majority of the body with the more oxygenated blood from the left ventricle, in contrast to the fetal circulation, where main blood supply ...Read more
Catheter based: A PFO is usually repaired with a heart catheterization. An occluding device is delivered with a catheter from the leg and placed in the pfo. Closure is usually 100% effective. ...Read more
No: A patent foramen oval is present in up to 1/3 of the population. Their presence does not cause damage to the heart. ...Read more
Hi doctors, can you tell me what does "small patent foramen ovale with noted bidirectional shunt" mean?
Pfo is patent: Foramen ovale did not close and allows to and fro movement of blood across the opening. ...Read more
Would you expect people suffering from frequent migraine without the aura to possibly have a patent foramen ovale (PFO)?
Small heart opening: It is an opening in the wall between the upper chambers of the heart that allows blood from the placenta to get to where it needs to go during fetal life. All babies are born with this. It usually closes after birth, but 20% of all adults still have this. It is normal, though it has been associated with stroke, migraine headach, and decompression illness in scuba divers. ...Read more
Usually none: About 20% of all adults have pfo. Most people never have symptoms. Pagtent foramen ovale has been associated with cryptogenic stroke (a stroke thought to come from a small clot passing across the pfo from the right side of the heart to the left), migraine headaches, and decompression illness in scuba divers. ...Read more
Surgery: Most patent foramen ovales (pfo) do not have to be repaired. However if repair is indicated due to failure or respiratory issues, it would require open median sternotomy and probably 5-6 days in the hospital. This of course depends on the age of the patient. ...Read more
Echo: Only way to know is by echocardiogram. Sometimes, especially in adults, an injection of agitated saline during the echo may be necessary. Also, if image quality is limited, which is usually the case in adults, a transesophageal echo (echo done through introducing the probe into the esophagus) is necessary to look for a patent foramen ovale (pfo). ...Read more
When it's big: Most foramen ovale close after a baby is born, however sometimes it does not close. If a person has heart problem, pictures are taken a patent foramen may be discovered. If the pfo is contributing to a heart problem it may be closed, however many are discovered only after a person dies of other causes and happens to have autopsy, in other words people likely have them and they don't effect them. ...Read more
PFO: A patent foramen ovale is a common echocardiograph finding in a newborn in the first days of life. It is usually not associated with other cardiac defects. The foramen ovale is a fetal shunt present in the heart when the baby is a fetus and then closes after birth as does the patent ductus arteriosus. ...Read more
PFO: The patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a small communication between the right and left upper chambers of your heart. It is needed for oxygenation when you're fetus. Sometimes it doesn't close. It is thought to be present in ~20 to 30% of the population. The shunt means they can see the passage of blood through it. This small hole is inconsequential and USUALLY requires no further testing or treatment. ...Read more
ASD=RV volume load: This may be a matter of semantics/terminology. Sometimes, patients with an atrial septal defect (ASD) are labeled as having a patent foramen ovale, as both lesions occur in the same spot. If there is an asd, there can be sufficient left-to-right shunting at the atrial level, resulting in rv volume overload, rv enlargement and rv hypertrophy. ...Read more
Different: Patent foramen ovale is a temporary natural opening between two atria that allows fetal circulation to occur. Once born it closes spontaneously. An atrial septal defect is an abnormal opening between two atria that occurs due to incomplete formation of the atrial wall. It does not close spontaneously usually and may need surgery if it causes significant flow issues. ...Read more
Similar: An ostium secundum atrial septal defect and a patent foramen ovale are both "holes" in the same place in the atrial septum, which is the wall between the right and left atria. Everyone has a different definition. In infancy, many will call a hole less than 3 or 4 mm in diameter a pfo as they almost all go on to close without treatment. Some call all defects with flow from la to RA an asd. ...Read more
How is an emboli able to traverse a patent foramen ovale if the net flow of blood is from left to right atrium?
Possible: The heart is a pump and a dynamic process. The net pressure is from high to low. But invariably with activity motion and changing in position the flow can switch transiently. If a clot is in the flow at that time then it can become an arterial emboli with all its consequences. ...Read more
My echo says I have a "possible small interatrial septal aneurysm or patent foramen ovale." what does that mean?
Usually nothing: A small patent foramen ovale is one of the most common and minor cardiac anomalies. Most people do not know they have one as in the vast majority there are no symptoms. This defect has been rarely related to migraines and strokes, but these are so uncommon that the condition is not treated unless there is a problem. The term aneurysm relates to the tissue of the atrial septum and is not risky. ...Read more
Paradoxical embolism is a phenomenon that happens only in "patent foramen ovale" or it can occur in every type, can you tell me about this?
Embolism: Embolism is a clot floats downstream. If there's a hole in one of the heart's walls, and if embolism occurs, it should float from an area of hi to lower pressure (L to R). If it goes the other way, (lo to hi), it's "paradoxical". Potential for PFO is likely present in 60-80% of nl people but only opens with sudden rise in pressure e.g cough or valsalva which suddenly raises right heart pressure. ...Read more
Common: All infants have a patent foramen ovale (pfo) as a fetus. This allows the fetal circulation to flow. Once born the pfo will close as the concentratiojn of oxygen in the blood rises. In a small percentage of infants the pfo may persist. Figures on this occurrence vary from 10-15%. Rarely is any treatment required unless the blood flow is severely affected. Most close within 1-2 years of birth. ...Read more
When your due date arrives, you will be more than ready to have your baby! Most women deliver the baby somewhere between 37 and 42 weeks. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, only 5% of babies arrive on the exact due date. Approximately 7% of babies are not delivered by 42 weeks, and when that happens, it is referred to ...Read more