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Patent Foramen Ovale

If the normal opening between the left and right atria of the heart fails to close naturally soon after a baby is born, it is called a patent foramen ovale (PFO).

A PFO enables blood to bypass the lungs. PFOs are not uncommon, and in most cases don’t cause problems.

Often PFOs aren’t diagnosed unless a patient has a stroke or another illness. A Transesophegeal Echocardiogram can diagnose a PFO.