Arterial embolism in a patient with pulmonary embolism and patent foramen ovale

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Paradoxical embolization is an uncommon but devastating complication of pulmonary embolism and continues to be frequently missed. Although the prevalence of patent foramen ovale is 25% to 30%, the risk of paradoxical embolism is <2% of all arterial ischemia. Paradoxical embolism is infrequent but can involve almost any artery of the body. Here, we present a case of a 65-year-old woman with paradoxical systemic arterial embolism secondary to deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in the presence of patent foramen ovale. High suspicion for paradoxical embolism is needed in the event of unexplained arterial occlusion. Awareness of this complication with prompt recognition and treatment could serve to preclude significant disability and death.


The copy of record is available from the publisher at https://doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2019.1576460.

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