Infants with a patent foramen ovale and no other heart defects do not have symptoms.
Signs and tests
An echocardiogram can be done to diagnose a PFO. If the PFO is not easily seen, a cardiologist can perform a "bubble test." Saline solution (salt water) is injected into the body as the cardiologist watches the heart on an ultrasound (echocardiogram) monitor. If a PFO exists, tiny air bubbles will be seen moving from the right to left side of the heart.
Review Date: 12/28/2009
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Kurt R. Schumacher, MD, Pediatric Cardiology, University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center, Ann Arbor, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.