Risk of cerebrovascular events in patients with patent foramen ovale and intracardiac devices

Kanhaiya L. Poddar, Vijaiganesh Nagarajan, Amar Krishnaswamy, Navkaranbir S. Bajaj, Meera Kumari, Hazem Bdair, Dhruv Modi, Shikhar Agarwal, Sachin S. Goel, Akhil Parashar, E. Murat Tuzcu, Samir R. Kapadia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES This study investigated whether patients with patent foramen ovale (PFO) have an increased risk of stroke due to permanent pacemaker (PPM)/implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation. BACKGROUND Data are lacking on the risk of stroke in patients with PFO and implantable intracardiac devices, either a PPM or an ICD. We investigated whether patients with PFO have increased risk of stroke due to PPM/ICD implantation. METHODS Between 2001 and 2008, 2,921 consecutive patients with PFO (67.5 ± 16.4 years of age, 52.2% male) were identified from our echocardiography database. These patients were divided into a device group (patients had PPM/ICD implantation for any reason after receiving a diagnosis of PFO) and a no device group (patients did not have PPM or ICD implantation). Patients who had PFO closure during follow-up were excluded. Both groups were matched for baseline characteristics and medications. The incidence of ischemic stroke was assessed in each group after propensity score matching (case:control ratio of 1:1 yielding 231 pairs). All patients completed at least 4 years of follow-up until May 2012. RESULTS There were 2,690 patients in the n device group (67.3 ± 16.4 years of age, 51.6% male) and 231 patients in the device group (75.4 ± 14.6 years of age, 59.3% male). Six patients (2.6%) in the no device group and 6 (2.6%) in the device group had a stroke during the follow-up period. No difference in the rate of stroke, transient ischemic stroke, or stroke/transient ischemic stroke was observed between the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS The risk of stroke in patients with PFO and an implantable intracardiac device is similar to those without an intracardiac device. In patients with PFO, without a history of stroke, device implantation might not be considered a risk factor for future stroke occurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1226
Number of pages6
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2014


  • Intracardiac defibrillator
  • Intracardiac device
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Pacemaker
  • Patent foramen ovale
  • Transient ischemic attack/stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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