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Cryptogenic transient ischemic attack after nose blowing: association of huge atrial septal aneurysm with patent foramen ovale as potential cause

Authors Lotze U, Kirsch U, Ohlow M, Scholle T, Leonhardi J, Lauer B, Oltmanns G, Schmidt H

Received 27 January 2013

Accepted for publication 26 March 2013

Published 2 July 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 545—548

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S43294

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Ulrich Lotze,1 Uwe Kirsch,1 Marc-Alexander Ohlow,2 Thorsten Scholle,3 Jochen Leonhardi,3 Bernward Lauer,2 Gerhard Oltmanns,4 Hendrik Schmidt5,6

1Department of Internal Medicine, DRK Krankenhaus Sondershausen, Sondershausen, Germany; 2Department of Cardiology, Zentralklinik Bad Berka, Bad Berka, Germany; 3Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Zentralklinik Bad Berka, Germany; 4Department of Internal Medicine, DRK Krankenhaus Sömmerda; Sömmerda, Germany; 5Department of Cardiology and Diabetology, Klinikum Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany; 6Department of Internal Medicine III, Martin-Luther-Univeristy Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

Abstract: Association of atrial septal aneurysm (ASA) with patent foramen ovale (PFO) is considered an important risk factor for cardioembolism frequently forwarding paradoxical embolism in patients with cryptogenic or unexplained cerebral ischemic events. We herein describe the case of a 69-year-old male patient reporting uncontrolled movements of the right arm due to a muscle weakness, slurred speech, and paresthesia in the oral region some seconds after he had blown his nose. These neurological symptoms had improved dramatically within a few minutes and were completely regressive at admission to our hospital about two hours later. On transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) a huge ASA associated with PFO was detected. Diagnosis of the large-sized ASA was also confirmed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Due to the early complete recovery from his neurological symptoms, the patient was diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack (TIA). After nine days he was discharged in a good clinical condition under the treatment with oral anticoagulation. It is concluded that in cryptogenic or unexplained stroke or TIA TEE should always be performed to rule out ASA and PFO as potential sources for paradoxical embolism in those inconclusive clinical situations.

Keywords: congenital cardiac abnormality, atrial septal aneurysm, nose blowing, paradoxical embolism, patent foramen ovale, transient ischemic attack

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