Table of Contents
ISRN Neurology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 959483, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Short-Term and Two-Year Rate of Recurrent Cerebrovascular Events in Patients with Acute Cerebral Ischemia of Undetermined Aetiology, with and without a Patent Foramen Ovale

1Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Stroke Unit, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy
2I.R.C.C.S. Santa Lucia Foundation, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Rome, Italy
3Dipartimento di Cardiologia, Policlinico Tor Vergata, Università Tor Vergata, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy

Received 18 October 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

Academic Editors: G. Boysen and C. Lang

Copyright © 2011 Silvia Di Legge et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. We investigated stroke recurrence in patients with acute ischemic stroke of undetermined aetiology, with or without a patent foramen ovale (PFO). Methods. Consecutive stroke patients underwent to Transcranial Doppler and Transesophageal Echocardiography for PFO detection. Secondary stroke prevention was based on current guidelines. Results. PFO was detected in 57/129 (44%) patients. The rate of recurrent stroke did not significantly differ between patients with and without a PFO: 0.0% versus 1.4% (1 week), 1.7% versus 2.7% (1 month), and 3.5% versus 4.2% (3 months), respectively. The 2-year rates were 10.4% (5/48) in medically treated PFO and 8.3% (6/72) in PFO-negative patients ( 𝑃 = 0 . 6 5 ), with a relative risk of 1.25. No recurrent events occurred in 9 patients treated with percutaneous closure of PFO. Conclusion. PFO was not associated with increased rate of recurrent stroke. Age-related factors associated with stroke recurrence in cryptogenic stroke should be taken into account when patients older than 55 years are included in PFO studies.