The Foramen Ovale is a flap like opening in the upper heart chambers (atria) which allows communication (eg. blood/blood clots (emboli)/air bubbles) to flow between the atria. It is present in all fetuses and closes shortly after birth. If it does not close, it is called Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) through which blood clot can pass from right atrium to left atrium, resulting in stroke if the clots go to the brain. PFO can be closed by inserting a device through the blood vessels in the groin (percutaneous transcatheter approach).
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