The foramen ovale is a fetal connection between the right and left atria that typically closes within a few months of birth but remains patent in 25% to 30% of individuals.1 A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is usually benign, but in some individuals, a PFO-related embolic stroke may occur. Proposed mechanisms of PFO-related embolism include in situ thrombosis and paradoxical embolism, ie, when venous thromboembolism (VTE) passes into the systemic arterial circulation through the PFO.
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Rohatgi N, Smilowitz NR, Lansberg MG. Perioperative Stroke Risk Reduction in Patients With Patent Foramen Ovale. JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(12):1479–1480. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.2619
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