Patent Foramen Ovale and Cryptogenic Stroke
The Hole Story
Despite 3 recent randomized clinical trials, the management of patients with cryptogenic stroke and patent foramen ovale remains unsettled. The primary results of Evaluation of the STARFlex Septal Closure System in Patients with a Stroke and/or Transient Ischemic Attack due to Presumed Paradoxical Embolism Through a Patent Foramen Ovale (CLOSURE), Percutaneous Closure of Patent Foramen Ovale in Cryptogenic Stroke (PC), and Randomized Evaluation of Recurrent Stroke Comparing PFO Closure to Established Current Standard of Care Treatment (RESPECT) were the same; the intent to treat analysis for the primary end point in all 3 trials failed to demonstrate superiority of device closure compared with medical therapy. CLOSURE put the brakes on indiscriminate device closure of patent foramen ovales in patients with cryptogenic stroke or transient ischemic attack. RESPECT suggested, but did not prove, that highly selected patients without vascular risk factors, with a cortical infarct on baseline magnetic resonance imaging and a substantial patent foramen ovale shunt may benefit from the Amplatzer device during a multiple-year period. In the absence of definitive clinical trial results, the precise definition of which patient subgroups should be considered for patent foramen ovale device closure should be agreed to by the stakeholder societies and the Food and Drug Administration.
- Received May 24, 2013.
- Revision received June 4, 2013.
- Accepted June 10, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.