PFO and Migraine - July, 2010 Update

Teri Robert @trobert Health Guide
  • The connection between patent foramen ovale (PFO) has been an ongoing topic of discussion and questions.


    One clinical trial of PFO closure for Migraine was completed in the UK. Some of the U.S. trials were discontinued before completion.


    Dr. David Dodick, a Migraine and Headache specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, and president of the American Headache Society, recently answered some questions about PFO in a New York Times blog. His explanation begins:

    "There is debate surrounding the association between patent foramen ovale, or P.F.O., and migraine. A P.F.O. is a tunnel that connects the upper chambers of the heart — the right atrium and the left atrium. The opening allows blood that has given up nutrients and oxygen after traveling through the rest of the body to shunt into the left atrium, instead of going into the lungs to pick up more oxygen. This shunting also allows any particles in the deoxygenated blood, such as clumps of cells, as well as chemicals like serotonin that are normally filtered or metabolized in the lungs to pass into the left atrium, where they are pumped out to the rest of the body."

    If you want to know more about where things stand with PFO and Migraine, I encourage you to continue reading Are Migraines Linked to a Heart Defect?

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    © Teri Robert, 2010
    Last updated July 30, 2010

Published On: July 30, 2010