PFO is a defect of the interauricular septum (partition or wall separating the two (auricles) and that allows blood clots or thrombi to pass from the right auricle to the left. In most cases this opening closes after the baby is born but, on occasions, it stays open and, subsequently, clots can pass from the right auricle (venous) to the left (arterial) and give rise to a heart attack or to a transitory ischaemic attack. It is advisable, in those patients who have suffered a cerebral embolic stroke, the origin of which is suspected and shown to have arisen from this cause, that this opening or foramen be closed,otherwise the risk of another, more serious, embolism increases.
Although the treatment of septal defects at an auricular or ventricular level traditionally requires open surgery, for a number of years now POF and interauricular communication has been able to be treated percutaneously by means of a special device. This procedure is carried out at the Haemodynamics Unit with angiographic techniques.
This involves inserting a device within a catheter into the interior of the heart and which spreads out like an umbrella inside the right and left auricle. Once the right location has been identified, the device is released and the connecting cable is extracted by unscrewing from the outside. In this way, the system is implanted into the heart. The monitoring of the process at all times is carried out by transesophageal ecography, requiring the patient to be anaesthesised and the presence of an ecographer and anaestheticians.
The novelty incorporated by the Cardiology Intervention Unit is the undertaking of the monitoring procedure using intracardiac ultrasound equipment. This technique, developed in Spain at the Gregorio Maran Hospital in Madrid and currently only used in two hospitals, significantly simpli
Contact: Garazi Andonegi