PATENT FORAMEN OVALE

Description

  • A hole in the heart that didn’t close the way it should after birth
  • A foramen ovale is a hole in the heart
  • If it doesn’t close, the condition is called PFO

Symptoms

  • No signs and symptoms
  • In rare cases:
  • Blue tint to the skin when crying
  • Blue tint to the skin when passing stool

Causes

  • Exact cause unknown
  • could be genetic

Diagnostic Tests

  • Echocardiogram (ECG)
  • Saline contrast study (bubble study)
  • Color flow Doppler
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram

Treatment

  • In most cases,treatment is not necessary
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Medications

Medications

  • Medications to thin the blood
  • Medications to prevent clotting of blood

Lifestyle Management

  • Follow recommendations for preventing blood clots
  • If traveling by car, stop periodically and go for a short walk
  • On an airplane, be sure to stay well-hydrated