Navarre University Hospital has introduced a novel technique for the treatment of congenital heart defects and involving the percutaneous closure of the patent foramen ovale (PFO) with monitoring through intracavernous ecography.
PFO is a defect of the interauricular septum (partition or wall separating the two (auricles) and that allows blood clots or thrombi to pass from the right auricle to the left. In most cases this opening closes after the baby is born but, on occasions, it stays open and, subsequently, clots can pass from the right auricle (venous) to the left (arterial) and give rise to a heart attack or to a transitory ischaemic attack. It is advisable, in those patients who have suffered a cerebral embolic stroke, the origin of which is suspected and shown to have arisen from this cause, that this opening or foramen be closed,otherwise the risk of another, more serious, embolism increases.
Although the treatment of septal defects at an auricular or ventricular level traditionally requires open surgery, for a number of years now POF and interauricular communication has been able to be treated percutaneously by means of a special device. This procedure is carried out at the Haemodynamics Unit with angiographic techniques.
| Basque research
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