Amplatzer septal Occluder failure: Resulting in paradoxical cerebral embolism

Rajeev R. Fernando, Ketan P. Koranne, Colin MacLeod Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Patent foramen ovale and atrial septal defect are risk factors for paradoxical embolism and subsequent cerebral ischemic events. The transseptal passage of emboli from the right to the left cardiac chambers appears to play an important role. The therapeutic options are medical therapy (anti-aggregation or anticoagulation), surgical closure, or transcatheter closure. Transcatheter closure of atrial septal defects affords the advantage of closing an atrial defect without the associated morbidity of open-heart surgery and the bleeding sequelae of oral anticoagulation. After closure, however, the presence of a residual shunt is independently associated with an increased risk of recurrent ischemic events. Newer devices, such as the Amplatzer Septal Occluder, have decreased the risk of residual shunting and thromboembolic events. In addition, they have a very low risk of device dislodgement, migration, and embolization. We describe the case of a 60-year-old woman with Ebstein anomaly and recurrent ischemic strokes who presented with acute ischemic infarcts and paradoxical embolism 3 years after undergoing transcatheter closure of an atrial septal defect. A right-to-left shunt through a displaced Amplatzer Septal Occluder was detected. Pulmonary hypertension and resultant right ventricular failure and right atrial dilation could have contributed to the persistent shunting and paradoxical embolism. To our knowledge, the delayed dysfunction of an Amplatzer Septal Occluder has not been reported. In addition to describing the patient's case, we review the relevant medical literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-652
Number of pages6
JournalTexas Heart Institute Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Ebstein anomaly/pathology
  • Echocardiography
  • Embolism, paradoxical/ complications/epidemiology/etiology/physiopathology
  • Foramen ovale, patent/therapy
  • Heart septal defects, atrial/therapy
  • Ischemic attack, transient/etiology/prevention control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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