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.
- Intracardiac defibrillator
- Intracardiac device
- Ischemic stroke
- Patent foramen ovale
- Transient ischemic attack/stroke
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine