Impending paradoxical embolism, patent foramen ovale and pregnancy. Case report

Carlos Eduardo Laverde-Sabogal, July Vianneth Torres-González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: A clinical case and an updated literature review on impending paradoxical embolism are discussed, describing their incidence, etiology, and pathophysiology. Materials and methods: Revised by the Service of Clinical Ethics of our hospital, this is a case of a 37-year-old woman with 27 weeks of gestation who consulted because of progressive apnea leading to functional class IV/IV; her ICU management and outcomes are discussed. The bibliography used were searched from PubMed, SciELO, and Bireme. Results: Impending paradoxical embolism is a rare condition and few cases have been reported in Ibero-America. The condition has a significant impact on a young and otherwise healthy population, with high morbidity and mortality for both the baby and the mother. An association with several cardiovascular and neurological conditions has been suggested. Conclusions: The association between patent foramen ovale and impending paradoxical embolism is rare. Its occurrence during pregnancy is even more insignificant. The existing treatment evidence to date is weak, apparently in favor of surgical management rather than thrombolysis and anticoagulation alone, further avoiding the recurrence of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalColombian Journal of Anesthesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Embolism
  • Foramen Ovale
  • Paradoxical
  • Patent
  • Pregnant Women
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Thrombosis


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