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Papers: 15 Jun 2024 - 21 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 06

J Clin Med




Every Patent Foramen Ovale Should Be Closed.


Meier B


At present, the patent foramen ovale (PFO) does not receive the deserved medical attention. The PFO poses a serious threat to health and even the life of mankind. The first respective case report in the medical literature dates back to the 19th century. It led to death. The fact that a PFO is present in roughly 25% of people underscores its overall potential to cause harm. Yet at the same time, the sheer number discourages the medical community from screening for it and from treating it. About 5% of the population have particularly dangerous forms of PFOs. Such PFOs portray a high enough risk for clinical events, the likes of death, stroke, myocardial infarction, or ocular, visceral, and peripheral embolism, to justify screening for them. Highly significant health incidents being at stake, it appears obvious that PFO closure should be used for primary prevention. This is supported by the fact that closing a PFO is the simplest intervention in cardiology, with presumably the highest clinical yield. Being mainly a preventive measure, PFO closure represents a mechanical vaccination. When closing PFOs for one of the rarer therapeutic indications (migraine, platypnea orthodeoxia, etc.), patients automatically profit from the collateral benefit of getting, at the same time, mechanically vaccinated for life against paradoxical embolism. Vice versa, closing a PFO for the prevention of paradoxical embolism betters or cures migraine or exercise dyspnea not infrequently, thereby improving quality of life as a collateral benefit.