View Locations: Greenslopes | Cleveland | Toowoomba

07 3847 4422

Appointments and Enquiries

1800 990 727

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Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Work Up

A patent foramen ovale is a flap-like portion of the atrial septum, which separates the left and right chambers of the heart. The PFO usually closes at birth but can remain unsealed in approximately 25% of the population. In most cases, a PFO is a normal finding however it can be a relevant finding in young patients with unexplained stroke or transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs).

To accurately assess for the presence of a PFO, the following are performed:

Comprehensive Echo

View Transthoracic Echo

Agitated Saline Contrast Study

A cannula is placed in your arm and a small amount of saline solution (salty water) is injected while asking you to perform different breathing exercises whilst some imaging is performed.

+/- Transcranial Doppler Study

This involves using a small ultrasound transducer on the side of your head and imaging is performed during the saline injections.



Test Duration

Approximately 90 minutes.


Booking required. Please phone (07) 3847 4422.

Print Version

Locations where this test is available:

  • Greenslopes Private Hospital Clinic
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • St Vincent’s Medical Centre - Toowoomba

Our other Echocardiography tests include: