Concomitant coronary and pulmonary embolism associated with patent foramen ovale: A case report

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Abstract

Rationale:

The differential diagnosis of acute chest pain is very important, and can sometimes be challenging. Related diseases share a number of risk factors, and occasionally, 1 condition causes another disease to develop.

Patient concerns:

We described a 59-year-old man who presented to emergency department complaining of chest pain.

Diagnoses:

He was suffered acute myocardial infarction (MI) and pulmonary embolism (PE) simultaneously.

Interventions:

Dual antiplatelet therapy, statin, and low molecular weight heparin were administrated during his stay. The searches for cancers, autoimmune diseases, and hematologic diseases were unremarkable, ruling out a hypercoagulable state. Subsequent ultrasound scan revealed a thrombus in a vein of the lower left extremity. Thus, paradoxical embolism was highly suspected.

Outcomes:

Paradoxical embolism is a rare cause of acute MI, which may have occurred in our patient. This was evidenced by a previously unrecognized patent foramen ovale (PFO) with a right-to-left atrial shunt detected using contrast transesophageal echocardiography.

Lessons:

Acute MI complicated with PE is not common in the clinical setting. The fatal condition is difficult to diagnose because of the similar symptoms and confusing causes. Paradoxical embolism can cause this phenomenon, and physicians should be highly vigilant in the search for a PFO in cases of paradoxical embolism.

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