Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale for secondary prevention of ischemic stroke: Quantitative synthesis of pooled randomized trial data

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Catheterization and cardiovascular interventions : official journal of the Society for Cardiac Angiography & Interventions


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of percutaneous device closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) for secondary prevention of ischemic stroke BACKGROUND: Stroke remains the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States. The effectiveness of a percutaneous PFO closure in the prevention of recurrent cryptogenic strokes has not been established.

METHODS: We performed a literature search using PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Google Scholar, and Internet-based sources from January 2003 to September 2017. Randomized controlled trails (RCTs) comparing percutaneous PFO closure to medical therapy alone.

RESULTS: Five RCTs (CLOSURE I, PC Trial, REDUCE, RESPECT, and CLOSE) with 1,829 patients in the device group and 1,611 patients in the medical group met inclusion criteria. The cumulative incidence of recurrent stroke was 2.02% in the PFO closure arm and 4.4% in the medical therapy group (RR 0.42, 95%CI 0.20, 0.91; P = 0.03). There was no difference in the incidence of death [0.7% vs. 0.9%; RR 0.76 (95% CI 0.35, 1.64), P = 0.49] or adverse events during the follow-up period [24.6% vs. 23.7% (RR 1.03; 95% CI 0.91, 1.16), P = 0.65] between the closure and medical therapy groups. Incidence of atrial fibrillation was significantly higher in closure group compared to medical therapy [4% vs. 0.6% (RR 4.73; 95% CI 2.09, 10.70), P = 0.0002]. The comparative effectiveness of PFO closure (compared to medical therapy) was significantly more pronounced in those younger than 45 years, males, larger shunts and disc design platforms (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the results of this analysis of randomized trial data, percutaneous PFO closure appears to be a safe and effective therapeutic option for the secondary prevention of ischemic stroke in patients with PFO and cryptogenic stroke.

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