To ascertain the factors related to the transesophageal echocardiographic diagnosis of patent foramen ovale, the primary echocardiographic data were reviewed from 74 patients with that diagnosis. Similar detection rates were observed with contrast echocardiography (82%) and color flow mapping (78%), but contrast was more sensitive in patients with normal-sized atria (94%) and isolated right atrial enlargement (100%) than in those with enlarged left atria, all but three of whom had biatrial enlargement (52%) (p < 0.001 by chi-square test). Doppler flow mapping was less sensitive for normal-sized atria (66%) than for isolated enlarged right atria (31%) and left (bi-) atrial enlargement (96%) (p = 0.024). Patent foramen ovale was directly visualized by two-dimensional echocardiography in 80%, with close agreement to the size of the color flow jet (r= 0.90, Δ = 0.1 ± 0.4 mm); foramen ovale size was related to right atrial area (r= 0.31, p = 0.015). Thus both saline contrast and color flow imaging are necessary to exclude the diagnosis of patent foramen ovals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine