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Doctor insights on: Pfo With Left To Right Shunt

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Have had stroke, had toe test on heart found PFO tunnel with right left shunt permanently. And prominent ev. Should this be closed?

Have had stroke, had toe test on heart found PFO tunnel with right left shunt permanently. And prominent ev. Should this be closed?

Not yet: I question your right to left permanent shunt. In otherwise normal hearts the pressure on the left side is higher, making right to left shunting episodic at best. The current trials do not support closure of pfos to prevent stroke. ...Read more

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Dr. Donna Wilkins
161 doctors shared insights

Patent Foramen Ovale (Definition)

Hole or communication between right and left atria, the upper heart chambers. The hole is open during fetal circulation and closes after birth. If it remains open it is termed a patent foramen ovale. Symptoms ...Read more


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I had a tee it showed moderate shunting. The doctor said it could be a PFO or an avm. Pfo bubbles 1-2 and avm bubbles 4-6, mine 3-4?

I had a tee it showed moderate shunting. The doctor said it could be a PFO or an avm. Pfo bubbles 1-2 and avm bubbles 4-6, mine 3-4?

There are no: Hard & fast rules when it comes to this. The #s you are referring to are the number of cardiac cycles before bubbles are seen on the left side of the heart. 3-4 favors pfo over intrapulomnary shunting (late passage). ...Read more

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What does small patent foramen ovale with noted bidirectional shunt mean?

What does small patent foramen ovale with noted bidirectional shunt mean?

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

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If I have an asa, PFO with interatrial shunting visible on tee am I at an increased risk for a stroke and is there anything I can do to decrease risk?

If I have an asa, PFO with interatrial shunting visible on tee am I at an increased risk for a stroke and is there anything I can do to decrease risk?

Yes: Presence of pfo is associated with increased risk of stroke. You should consult a doctor and may benefit from taking a low dose Aspirin daily. Also you may be a candidate for pfo closure. ...Read more

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Is a PFO the same as atrial septal defect? Echo states abnormal shunt suggestive small atrial septal defect.What does suggestive mean is it def small?

ASD: A pfo is also an asd. Small ASD is usually fairly easy to tell on echo. Suggestive readings generally are subtle findings. Ask the doctor what the test means, without seeing it, we can't be sure. ...Read more

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How common are my cardio findings? All were said to be "small". Leaky mitral valve, PFO with minimal shunting and ASA. Dr says no need to treat at all

Asa: An atrial septal aneurysm may put one at increased risk for stroke. Small "probe patent" pfo is very common. Up to 30% of pts at autopsy have it. However and pfo with associated ASA may need prophylactic antiplatelet therapy. Agree with my colleages in seeking a neurologist or cardiologist for further advice. Especially someone who can actually look at the echo ...Read more

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Can endocarditis CAUSE atrial septal aneurysm with a pfo or ASD shunt?

Can endocarditis CAUSE atrial septal aneurysm with a pfo or ASD shunt?

No: A cerebral embolism can happen in someone with an undiagnosed PFO or ASD +/- atrial septal aneurysm. Endocarditis causes valve degeneration and/ or there could be a coronary embolism causing a heart attacks. ...Read more

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I have a pfo. Latley i been getting come n go chest pain sharp on the left side n sometimes a racing heartbeat. And been real fatigue help?

Pfo: A patent foramen ovale is an open connection between the upper heart chambers. The symptoms you note could indicate a problem associated with it. You should consult your dr. To see if something is going on with your heart. ...Read more

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Iam 47 /female had a day of sudden numbness in left arm lasting <5min. 5 hrs later left sd of face . Also have PFO and history migraines(never like this) TIA or migraine? 2 m.D.'s debate dx.Do i close pfo

Iam 47 /female had  a day of sudden numbness in left arm lasting <5min. 5 hrs later left sd of face . Also have PFO and history migraines(never like this) TIA or migraine? 2 m.D.'s debate dx.Do i close pfo

DIFFICULT CHOICE: If your pfo is closed, technically is not a major procedure, there is a potential of controlling migraine (not fully proven yet), and protection against future paradoxical embolism through the pfo. The timing of your event is far more consistent with a blood clot than a classical migraine event, but gather that no primary source was discovered. Would go to academic center and get opinion. ...Read more

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20 yrs old female asthma I keep getting lil chest pain right or left I been told I have PFO ER bllod wrk negative and EKG help n shortness of breath?

20 yrs old female asthma I keep getting lil chest pain right or left  I been told I have PFO ER bllod wrk negative and EKG help n shortness of breath?

Asthma Meds?: How are you using your asthma meds? Do you have an action plan you are following or are you using your medication "as needed"? Asthma meds are not used as needed, that means you use them when you have symptoms and not used to control symptoms. Ask your doc to review your type of medications and get pulmonary function tests. ...Read more

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Chest pain left upper quadrant come n go shortness of breath racing heart beat . Asthma n a PFO help what should I do?

You: Should be seen first by your family practitioner/cardiologist who is aware about your pfo. You may also have pots. Check it out, google first the term postural orthostatic tachycardic syndrome. ...Read more

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How is an emboli able to traverse a patent foramen ovale if the net flow of blood is from left to right atrium?

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

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What is the difference between PFO and pda?

What is the difference between PFO and pda?

Very different: Pfo is a patent forman ovale, a persistent opening between the two upper chambers of the heart that usually closes shortly after birth. Pda is a persistent connection. Between the aorta and pulmonary artery which also closes shortly after birth. These changes facilitate the transition from intrauterine life to extra uterine life. ...Read more

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What is the surgery to close a pfo?

PFO: There are open heart procedures to patch the hole in the atrial wall as well as transcatheter procedures to close the hole. ...Read more

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Should a pfo/asd be closed in adult?

Should a pfo/asd be closed in adult?

Asd yes pfo maybe: Significantly large (meaning that the right heart is enlarged) ASD needs to be closed. Pfo is noted in up to 20 % of the population. It has no relevance. There may be (data is weak) an association of pfo with stroke. Currently the american society of neurology recommends closure only after first recurrence of a stroke. Very controversial topic. ...Read more

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How life threatening is having a pfo?

How life threatening is having a pfo?

Zero to bad!: 25% of us have a pfo and obviously most of us do fine. However i operated on a young lady yesterday (for a related condition) who was in severe congestive heart failure, mostly resolved by closing her pfo. Closure (if deemed necessary by a cardiologist) can often be achieved with catheter-based technology (amplatzer plug) rather than open-heart surgery. ...Read more

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What does it mean if the echo showed pfo?

What does it mean if the echo showed pfo?

Patent foramen ovale: This is a congenital opening between the right and left atria of the heart. It normally closes at birth, but stay open in some patients and may need to be closed with a device by a cardiologist or closed surgically by a cardiac surgeon. ...Read more

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How is PFO (patent foramen ovale) treated?

PFO: Patent foramen ovale or pfo is a congenital remnant which normally closes at birth but for several reasons can open later in life. Blood or clots can travel across and if they do, the opening should be closed. It can be closed either surgically or by a catheter based procedure. ...Read more

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Are migraines and a prior PFO related in a child?

Are migraines and a prior PFO related in a child?

Unclear: A PFO can be detected in patients with migraines more often than in the general population; however, there is not conclusive evidence to show that the presence of the PFO causes migraines or that closure of the PFO will relieve migraines. ...Read more

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Shunt (Definition)

Device that allows the flow of usually a fluid between two places. Sometimes a shunt may be used during carotid endarterectomy surgery to maintain the blood flow to the brain while the carotid artery ...Read more