Patent foramen ovale and obstructive sleep apnea: A new association

Sleep Medicine Reviews , 10/22/2010

Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a common congenital cardiac defect of the atrial septal wall affecting up to 25% of the population. PFO has received much clinical interest because it has been implicated in disease states such as stroke, migraine and decompression illness. More recently, there has been emerging evidence to support a clinically important relationship between PFO and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Furthermore, minimally invasive percutaneous techniques are now available for closure of PFO. The authors will review the current state of knowledge in the relationship between PFO and OSA, with emphasis on the pathophysiological interactions and clinical implications of this association.

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