Aims: Although routinely used, limited data are available regarding the long-term outcome after patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure using the HELEX® Occluder system. The aim of this study was therefore the examination of the acute and long-term outcome after transcatheter PFO closure using this system.
Methods and results: All (n=407) patients included had undergone PFO closure with the HELEX® Occluder system for secondary prevention of stroke, transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or peripheral embolism at a single centre. Primary endpoints were residual shunts at six or 12 months (assessed by transoesophageal echocardiography) and the number of neurological and other adverse events during follow-up. Device implantation was successful in 99% of patients. Complete closure at six months was achieved in 81%. During follow-up of 1,695 patient-years, 10 neurologic events occurred (four TIA, six strokes). The annual incidence of stroke was 1.2%. Other adverse events were wire frame fractures requiring no further intervention in five (1%), device-associated thrombus formation in one (0.25%), and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in nine patients (2%).
Conclusions: PFO closure using the HELEX® Occluder system is feasible and safe. Complications and adverse events during long-term follow-up are rare. The safety profile and efficacy in prevention of recurrent events compare well to that reported with other closure devices.