THROMBOPHLEBITIS followed by pulmonary and later systemic embolism should arouse suspicion of a patent foramen ovale, particularly if the heart itself appears unlikely as an additional source of embolism. Sudden death after such a sequence of events may be precipitated by embolic occlusion of the foramen ovale. This syndrome has recently been emphasized by Elliott and Beamish.1 These authors stressed the lack of significant electrocardiographic changes in the syndrome. The following case is reported to indicate that such changes may occur and cannot be used to exclude the presence of this syndrome.
Report of Case
A 49-year-old obese woman entered Episcopal Hospital on July 11, 1955, because of shortness of breath. For many years she had not been able to lie flat in bed without dyspnea. One month previously she had begun to experience shortness of breath on effort. She consulted her physician, who found no evidence of disease.