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This condition is not treated unless other heart abnormalities exist or if you had a stroke caused by a blood clot to the brain.
Treatment usually requires cardiac cathertization by a specifically trained cardiologist to permanently seal the PFO.
The infant will have normal health in the absence of other heart defects.
Unless there are other associated defects, there are usually no complications associated with a PFO. There have been some studies suggesting that older patients with PFOs have a higher rate of a certain type of stroke (called paradoxical thromboembolic stroke). The reason for this is that older people frequently develop blood clots in the veins in their legs. These clots can sometimes travel from their original site to the right side of their heart.
If a PFO is present, the clot can then pass from the right side to the left side and may travel to the brain and become lodged there, preventing blood flow to that part of the brain (stroke).
Some patients may take medication to prevent blood clots.
Call your health care provider if your baby turns blue when crying or defecating. Usually, however, this disorder is only discovered incidentally when a cardiologist performs an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to evaluate an unrelated heart murmur.
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