"Diving Hyperb Med. 2015 Jun;45(2):94-7.
An audit of persistent foramen ovale closure in 105 divers.
Pearman A1, Bugeja L2, Nelson M2, Szantho GV2, Turner M3.
Right-to-left shunt across a persistent foramen ovale (PFO) has been associated with cutaneous, neurological and vestibular decompression illness (DCI). Percutaneous closure of a PFO has been used to reduce the risk of DCI. There are no randomised controlled trial data to support PFO closure for the prevention of decompression illness (DCI), so the need for audit data on the safety and efﬁcacy of this technique has been recognised by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK.
Retrospective audit of all transcatheter PFO closures to reduce the risk of DCI performed by a single cardiologist with an interest in diving medicine.
A total of 105 eligible divers undergoing 107 procedures was identiﬁed. There was a low rate of procedural complications; a rate lower than a recent randomised trial of PFO closure for stroke. Atrial ﬁbrillation required treatment in two patients. One patient with a previously repaired mitral valve had a stroke that was thought to be unrelated to the PFO closure. Sixteen divers had minor post-procedure symptoms not requiring any treatment. Two divers required a second procedure because of residual shunt; both subsequently returned to unrestricted diving. Eighty-one of 95 divers in whom follow-up bubble contrast echocardiography was available returned to unrestricted diving.
The PFO closure procedure appeared to be safe and was associated with the majority of divers being able to successfully return to unrestricted diving."