Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale following cryptogenic stroke: An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.


Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) after cryptogenic stroke has long been a contentious issue. Herein, we pool aggregate data examining safety and efficacy of transcatheter closure of PFO compared with medical therapy following initial cryptogenic stroke.We searched for randomized clinical trials (RCT) that compared device closure with medical management and reported on subsequent stroke and adverse events. Stroke was considered as the primary efficacy endpoint, whereas bleeding and atrial fibrillation were considered primary safety endpoints. Data were pooled by the random effects model and I2 was used to assess heterogeneity.A total of 5 RCT investigating 3630 patients met inclusion criteria. Pooled analysis revealed that device closure compared to medical management was associated with a significant reduction in stroke (RR=0.3, 95% CI=0.02-0.57). There was, however, a significant increase in atrial arrhythmias with device therapy (RR=4.8, 95% CI=2.2-10.7). We found no increase in bleeding (RR=0.80, 95% CI=0.5-1.4), death (RR=0.76, 95% CI=0.3-1.99) or "any adverse events" (RR=1.02, 95% CI=0.85-1.23) with device therapy. Sub-group analysis revealed that device closure significantly reduced the incidence of the composite primary endpoint among patients who had moderate to large shunt sizes (RR=0.22, 95% CI=0.02-0.42).Transcatheter closure is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of stroke compared to medical management at the expense of an increased risk of atrial arrhythmias.





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Publication Info

Riaz, Haris, Muhammad Shahzeb Khan, Aldo L Schenone, Anam A Waheed, Arooj Razzak Khan and Richard A Krasuski (2018). Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale following cryptogenic stroke: An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. American heart journal, 199. pp. 44–50. 10.1016/j.ahj.2018.01.008 Retrieved from

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Richard Andrew Krasuski

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Richard Krasuski is Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Center at Duke University Medical Center, the Director of Hemodynamic Research, and the Medical Director of the CTEPH Program. He is considered a thought leader in the fields of pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease. His research focus is in epidemiologic and clinical studies involving patients with pulmonary hypertension and patients with congenital heart disease. He is involved in multiple multicenter studies through the Alliance for Adult Research in Congenital Cardiology (AARCC). He has also helped to develop multiple research databases in these patient populations. He is Co-PI in the upcoming EPIPHANY Study examining the impact of medical and transcatheter interventions on RV-PA coupling in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Over his career he has mentored over 80 students, residents and fellows and has published over 300 peer reviewed publications, book chapters and meeting abstracts. He is also the Chief Editor of Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension and on the editorial boards of several leading medical journals.

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