Atrial septal defect

Spent 2 nights in hospital with weakness and shortness of breath Dr thinking maybe light stroke and found a atrial septal defect or hole in my heart that has never been there before Could this possibly be result of pacemaker implant? I'm 63 never been short of breath until last month


PFO Defect?

by DoingMyBest - 2023-10-16 21:18:10

During my mitral valve repair surgery the surgeon found a hole in my heart and fixed it. It's a congenital defect in the atrial septum, called a PFO (patent foramen ovale). My understanding is that this is usually small and in a low-pressure differential part of the heart that generally doesn't cause problems. Perhaps that is what your doctor found. Read the article below. They do say there may be symptoms in some cases.

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)   << Copy link to another browser tab

I've read that placing pacemaker leads can sometimes cause issues. Someone else more knowledgable will have to comment on that possibility and the likely effects.


by Julros - 2023-10-16 21:58:41

Up to 25% of people have a patent foramen ovale. A foramen ovale is a naturally occuring feature in fetal circulation, that usually closes immediately after birth. It differs from an ASD in the size of the opening and the presence of little flaps that impair blood flow. 

You likely have had the ASD since birth and it was never detected, until you had a problem arise. It is unlikely that the pacermaker caused an ASD. However, you might have a blood clot form that could have traveling into your lung, causing shortness of breath. I am not familiar with shortness of breath being a symptom of a stroke. Strokes usually result in a neurologic deficit, like weakness on one side, slurred speech, or vision deficits. I had a small stroke that left me with a visual field deficit. 

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