Public Release: 

More data needed to determine whether holes in heart lead to stroke

Mayo Clinic

Broad interpretations exist on data related to patent foramen ovales (PFOs) and whether they cause stroke, writes a physician in the May issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Lacking, he says, are good estimates of overall risks or variables that could affect prognosis.

Harold Adams Jr., M.D., from the University of Iowa's Department of Neurology, comments on new studies published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In an editorial on cardiac disease and stroke, Dr. Adams says articles in the journal serve as a reminder to physicians to exercise caution when a "new" cause of a common disease such as stroke is described.

Additional research will help determine the best course of treatment for patients with PFOs, Dr. Adams says, and will give physicians and patients the necessary data to make educated treatment decisions.


A peer-review journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings publishes original articles and reviews dealing with clinical and laboratory medicine, clinical research, basic science research and clinical epidemiology. Mayo Clinic Proceedings is published monthly by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research as part of its commitment to the medical education of physicians. The journal has been published for more than 75 years and has a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally. Articles are available online at

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