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PFO and Stroke: Still No Closure

Patent Foramen Ovale

Should patients with patent foramen ovale (PFO) get it fixed? PFO is a  communication between the  upper  chambers of the heart.  Many people have PFO.  It’s something that should  seal  in infancy but which can persist through adulthood for many people. PFO isn’t usually a problem except for the fact that  it is associated with a higher rate of cryptogenic (of mysterious origin) stroke. So if someone with PFO has a stroke, their doctor may recommend that they get a minimally invasive procedure to close the hole in the heart. This sounds like a good idea, but despite the frequency of this recommendation, it turns out that there has been little evidence whether or not it works to prevent recurrent strokes.

Learn more about Cleveland Clinic's study