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Vol 16, No 1 (2021)
Original paper
Published online: 2021-02-27

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Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale in patients with cryptogenic stroke- impact on arrhythmia in 3 months follow-up

Andrzej Wittczak12, Marek Maciejewski3, Tomasz Moszura4, Paweł Dryżek4, Maciej Banach56, Agata Bielecka-Dąbrowa56
Folia Cardiologica 2021;16(1):8-15.


Background: Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a common abnormality, occurring in about 25% of the population. Percutaneous PFO closure is recommended for selected patients in the prevention of recurrent thromboembolic events. Although transcatheter closure of PFO is recognized as a safe procedure, potential complications, such as atrial fibrillation, may occur. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of arrhythmia in patients before and after PFO closure. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 45 patients (median age, 45 [IQR, 35–61] years; 80% female) who underwent percutaneous PFO closure. 24‑hour Holter electrocardiograms were done both before and 3 months after the procedure in 21 patients (median age, 49 [38–65] years; 81% female), however data of predominant underlying rhythm was available for all 45 patients. Results: There were no statistically significant differences in maximal and minimal heart rate, number of supraventricular and ventricular extrasystolic beats, pauses, episodes of supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia in patients before and after the PFO closure procedure. Median average heart rate was significantly higher before the procedure (70 [67–78] bpm vs 69 [62–77] bpm; p = 0,03). Among the 45 patients, one had a history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) before the procedure. During the follow‑up, no AF was found. Conclusions: 1) Transcatheter closure of PFO did not affect arrhythmias observed in 24‑hour Holter ECG monitoring of our patients. 2) The procedure has a low risk of complications if performed in selected patients by an adequately trained operator in an experienced center.

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