Patients with these connections may present with palpitations, shortness of breath, leg swelling, migraines or history of stroke.
The first investigations to consider for the formal diagnosis is a bubble echo study to visualise whether microbubbles, which are injected into the blood supply, pass through the PFO. Transoesophageal echo may also be used to accurately assess the hole.
A CT and/or MRI may also be considered if the echocardiogram does not visualise the pulmonary venous anatomy sufficiently.
These connections can be closed with minimally invasive techniques or with open heart surgery. The need to close the hole will be weighed up depending on current or future risks and sympotms.
This minimally invasive procedure is used to close holes in the heart. [READ MORE]
This scan is used to ascertain the risk of a heart attack or stroke within the next 5-10 years. [READ MORE]
An ‘echo’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart to assess structure and function. [READ MORE]
These scans enable cardiologists to view detailed images of the heart’s anatomy. [READ MORE]