, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 234-240
Date: 16 Aug 2005

Patent Foramen Ovale and Left Atrial Appendage: New Devices and Methods for Closure

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Transcatheter closure of atrial septal defects (ASDs) has become a routine procedure in many countries of the world. It spares many patients cardiac surgery and has proven efficacy in long-term studies. Device improvements have resulted in a continuous reduction of complications and of residual shunt frequency. ASD closure devices are also used for transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) for prevention of paradoxical embolism. In the past few years, there has been increasing interest in developing devices specifically designed for PFO closure. Although transcatheter closure of ASDs is well established, interventional closure of the left atrial appendage is in its development stage. Closure of the left atrial appendage is designed to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation in whom anticoagulation with Warfarin-type drugs is contraindicated. This article describes the latest developments in catheter closure of PFO and the left atrial appendage.