A patent foramen ovale is a small opening inside the heart. The opening is between the upper 2 chambers of the heart, which are called the right atrium and left atrium. A patent foramen ovale lets blood flow between these chambers. A PFO can lead to a stroke if a formed blood clot travels through the heart and into the brain.
In order to assess for a PFO, a test called a “bubble test” will be conducted. An Intravenous catheter (IV) will be placed and salt water with microbubbles will be administered. Your doctor will assess how the bubbles flow through your heart. If further evaluation is warranted, an ultrasound may be ordered.
Treatments such as pharmacological management and/or surgical closure will may depend symptomology.
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