Younger individuals with a history of stroke should be screened for a specific congenital cardiac anomaly, a neurologist from Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital recently wrote.
Specifically, a condition known as patent foramen ovale (PFO) manifests as a type of birth defect when a hole located between the heart’s left and right sides fails to close, according to a hospital press release. PFO carries the risk of ischemic stroke, the most common kind, as it potentially allows blood clots to reach the brain.
Weill Cornell Medicine neurologist and stroke expert Dr. Hooman Kamel wrote in the JAMA Neurology advising consideration of surgical PFO closure in some patients with the caveat that patients be thoroughly screened first, as not all might necessarily benefit from the procedure, the release said.
In cases where PFO is considered a viable option, physicians at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian routinely consult with specialists including interventional cardiologists as well as neurologists.
“A good relationship between the two services is crucial,” Weill/NewYork-Presbyterian professor and cardiologist Dr. Harsimran Singh said in the release. “I think patients appreciate the collaborative approach – they know they are getting our best advice.”
Kamel concurred, reiterating in the release that multidisciplinary care is optimal. Additionally, he indicated that PFO closure does not serve as a guarantee against future complications.
“When a decision is made to perform PFO closure, our interventional cardiologists have the experience and skill to perform these procedures safely, and our stroke neurologists then provide expert follow-up care,” Kamel said. “Patients should receive lifelong monitoring and intensive management of common stroke risk factors.”