It is the last day of the official SPUMS 2014 Scientific Conference, and recommendations regarding patent foramen ovale (PFO) and diving have been discussed. The following is proposed for consideration as the SPUMS position (final paper not yet edited):
- Routine screening for PFO in divers is not indicated.
- PFO test should be considered in case of:
- History of decompression sickness (DCS) with cerebral, spinal, inner ear or skin manifestations
- Any history of migraine with aura
- History of cryptogenic stroke
- Family history of PFO or atrial septal defect (ASD) in first-degree relatives
The recommendations than continue to points 3 – 8 with a prescription of optimal testing procedures and criteria for evaluations of findings. Since the devil is in the details, we will wait for a final edition of the SPUMS position statement. The position paper brings a significant change in comparison to a current prevailing position of leading diving medicine experts in the United States. SPUMS usually has a disproportionately large following in the world and it may cause opinion makers in the United States to reconsider their position.
Post written by: Petar Denoble, MD, D.Sc.