Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Patent Foramen Ovale Study at the Mayo Clinic

Dr. Omar Sanchez, cardiologist/diver from Buenos Aires sends us this recent abstract of an article in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings debunking the bunk about relating cerebrovascular ischemic events [CIE] with large patent foramen ovale. The article, "Population-Based Study of the Relationship Between Patent Foramen Ovale and Cerebrovascular Ischemic Events", by a large group with the Department of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic has the following conclusions:

"Patent foramen ovale is not a risk factor for cryptogenic ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack in the general population. The PFO’s importance in the genesis of cryptogenic CIE may have been overestimated in previous studies because of selective referral of cases and underascertainment of PFO among comparison groups of patients referred for echocardiography for clinical indications other than cryptogenic CIE."

Mayo Clin Proc. 2006;81(5):602-608

Implications for divers with PFO are not readily apparent, but might explain the highly unpredictive nature of right to left shunts across a PFO in divers.

More about PFO at .