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Soft-patch device to close hole in heart may prevent recurrent strokes.

Byline: ANI

Washington, November 19 (ANI): Scientists at Rush University Medical Center are using a soft-patch device made of a Gore-tex-type material, often used to make durable outerwear, to close a common hole found in the heart called a patent foramen ovale patent foramen ovale PFO Cardiology An opening between the left and right atria which allows blood to bypass the lungs in utero; the FO normally closes shortly after birth, but remains open in up to 20%; a PFO is, in absence of other cardiac defects, is of no consequence  (PFO PFO Patent Foramen Ovale (defect of the heart)
PFO Paphos, Cyprus - International (Airport Code)
PFO Principal Federal Official (US Departement of Homeland Security) 

The researchers hope that the new approach may prevent recurrent strokes and transient ischemic attacks Transient Ischemic Attack Definition

A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is often described as a mini-stroke. Unlike a stroke, however, the symptoms can disappear within a few minutes.
 (TIAs) in adults.

Rush is one of only 50 sites across the world where such trials are being conducted.

The objective of the multinational research is to see whether repairing a PFO with the aid of the device called the GORE HELEX HELEX Helicopter(ed) Exercise  Septal septal /sep·tal/ (sep´tal) pertaining to a septum.

Of or relating to a septum or septa.
 Occluder is more effective in preventing strokes than medical management alone.

"This PFO-closure device uses a biocompatible material biocompatible material,
n a substance that does not threaten, impede, or adversely affect living tissue.
 that allows progressive tissue growth to help seal the defect. It shows promise because of its soft, flexible design that has the ability to conform to a patient's anatomy," Dr. Ziyad Hijazi, director of the Rush Center for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease and co-investigator of the clinical trial at Rush.

The tiny umbrella-like device is fed through a catheter that is placed in the vein of the patient's leg using just one small puncture, and it is led through the vein up to the heart where the device is placed to seal the flap.

"Everyone is born with a PFO, which normally closes after birth. But in one in five Americans, the closure process is incomplete allowing blood returning from the body to bypass the filtering system of the lungs and enabling blood clots Blood Clots Definition

A blood clot is a thickened mass in the blood formed by tiny substances called platelets. Clots form to stop bleeding, such as at the site of cut.
 to travel from one area of the body through the heart and up to the brain causing a stroke," said Hijazi.

Patients often don't show any signs or symptoms, and a PFO can go undetected through adulthood. A PFO defect is often diagnosed only after a patient experiences a stroke, which mostly occurs in people under the age of 50.

The purpose of the study is to help such patients.

"This study may provide useful information that will help us determine a new possible standard of care for stroke patients. We have medications options that work well in reducing a stroke patient's risk of recurrence, but now we can see if PFO closure is an additional option that may also be beneficial to stroke patients," said Dr. Vivien Lee, stroke neurologist and study co-investigator at Rush. (ANI)

Copyright 2008 Asian News International The Asian News International (ANI) agency provides multimedia news to China and 50 bureaus in India. It covers virtually all of South Asia since its foundation and presently claims, on its official website, to be the leading South Asia-wide news agency.  (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Dec 3, 2008
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