Research Topic

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure for Prevention of Stroke

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About this Research Topic

Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide. However, in almost 40% of the cases, a specific cause cannot be found. Cryptogenic strokes (or embolic stroke of undetermined source) account for almost 40% of the total strokes and are a major burden for the patients and healthcare system. Patient ...

Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide. However, in almost 40% of the cases, a specific cause cannot be found. Cryptogenic strokes (or embolic stroke of undetermined source) account for almost 40% of the total strokes and are a major burden for the patients and healthcare system. Patient foramen ovale (PFOs) are more common among patients with cryptogenic strokes compared to the general population. Traditionally and given the negative results of the early trials, patients with a PFO and history of stroke were managed with antithrombotic regimens. However, four new randomized clinical trials (RCT) and many meta-analyses now support that PFO closure may be a better option for these patients.

Given the significant associations between the PFO and major neurological diseases, such as stroke, current and future research attempts from the cardiovascular and neurology communities examine the optimal managements of patients with PFO closure in terms of accurate diagnosis and classification, and ideal selection of patients who can benefit from PFO closure vs. antithrombotic regimens, for the preventions of new stroke episodes.

In this Research Topic, we aim to collect state-of-the-art articles that would be of interest not only to the neurology and cardiovascular communities, but also to the general internist. We welcome articles that will help the scientific community reach safe conclusions to the following fields:

i) The classification of ideal candidates for PFO closure among patients with history of cryptogenic stroke;
ii) The optimal antithrombotic regimen for these patients;
iii) The safest and most efficient way to triage and diagnose patients with PFO.


Keywords: Stroke, PFO, Patent Foramen Ovale, Percutaneous Closure


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