Pediatric Patent Foramen Ovale Atrial Septal Defects Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Sep 16, 2019
  • Author: Barry A Love, MD; Chief Editor: Syamasundar Rao Patnana, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Important considerations

Do not fail to recognize a patent foramen ovale as a source of paradoxical embolism.

Evaluate a patient for patent foramen ovale prior to a sitting neurosurgical procedure.

Special concerns

Pregnant patients with a patent foramen ovale who have not had a prior stroke or transient ischemic attack do not appear to be at any elevated risk for developing such episodes during pregnancy. Normal pregnancy and delivery can be safely advised.

Other problems to be considered

Also consider the following when evaluating patients with suspected patent foramen ovale atrial septal defects:

  • Other causes of cerebral ischemic events

  • Other causes of right-to-left shunting (eg, left superior vena cava [SVC] to the left atrium, right SVC to left atrium, pulmonary arteriovenous malformation)

Differential Diagnoses