Background: Patent foramen ovale (PFO) can cause ischemic stroke because of paradoxical embolism. Autopsy studies have shown that the prevalence of PFO is 25% in whites or blacks. However, there is a paucity of data on the prevalence of PFO in Asians. The aim of this study was to clarify the prevalence of PFO in the Japanese population. Methods and Results: We reviewed 52,717 autopsy reports, which were collected and edited by the Japanese Society of Pathology from 2009 to 2012. Next, we inspected consecutive 103 formalin-fixed specimens that had already been examined by certified pathologists from 2009 to 2013 to find PFO and atrial septal aneurysm (ASA). ASA was defined as ≥10 mm protrusion of the septum into the left or the right atrium. In the database of the Japanese Society of Pathology, the incidence of PFO was 0.08% (43/52,717). Inspection of heart specimens disclosed that the prevalence of PFO was 13.6% (14/103). None of the PFO cases was reported at the original autopsy. PFO was more frequently found in the subjects with ASA (50%) than in those without ASA (9.7%) (P=0.004). Conclusions: PFO is under-reported in autopsy reports. Re-evaluation of heart specimens disclosed that the prevalence of PFO was 13.6%. The prevalence was lower than reported in the past.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine