Diagnostic yield of pelvic magnetic resonance venography in patients with cryptogenic stroke and patent foramen ovale

Ava L. Liberman, Vistasp J. Daruwalla, Jeremy D. Collins, Matthew B. Maas, Marcos Paulo Ferreira Botelho, Jad Bou Ayache, James Carr, Ilana Ruff, Richard A. Bernstein, Marc J. Alberts, Shyam Prabhakaran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - : Paradoxical embolization is frequently posited as a mechanism of ischemic stroke in patients with patent foramen ovale. Several studies have suggested that the deep lower extremity and pelvic veins might be an embolic source in cryptogenic stroke (CS) patients with patent foramen ovale. METHODS - : Consecutive adult patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack and a patent foramen ovale who underwent pelvic magnetic resonance venography as part of an inpatient diagnostic evaluation were included in this single-center retrospective observational study to determine pelvic and lower extremity (LE) deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prevalence in CS versus non-CS stroke subtypes. RESULTS - : Of 131 patients who met inclusion criteria, 126 (96.2%) also had LE duplex ultrasound data. DVT prevalence overall was 7.6% (95% confidence interval, 4.1-13.6), pelvic DVT 1.5% (95% confidence interval, 0.1-5.8), and LE DVT 7.1% (95% confidence interval, 3.6-13.2). One patient with a pelvic DVT also had a LE DVT. Comparing patients with CS (n=98) with non-CS subtypes (n=33), there was no significant difference in the prevalence of pelvic DVT (2.1% versus 0%, P=1), LE DVT (6.2% versus 10.3%, P=0.43), or any DVT (7.2% versus 9.1%, P=0.71). CONCLUSIONS - : Among patients with ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack and patent foramen ovale, the majority of detected DVTs were in LE veins rather than the pelvic veins and did not differ by stroke subtype. The routine inclusion of pelvic magnetic resonance venography in the diagnostic evaluation of CS warrants further prospective investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2324-2329
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • physiopathology
  • thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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