We report a case of large paradoxical embolisms through a patent foramen ovale in a patient with acquired heparin-induced thrombocytopenia type II (HIT). One large ventricular thrombus embolizing through the aortic valve was documented on videotape for the first time while performing transesophageal echocardiography. A 56-year-old man was admitted with acute respiratory failure initially believed to have an exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Arterial oxygen saturation was only 33%. He received antibiotic and anti-obstructive treatments and was mechanically ventilated for 7 days. Few hours after extubation, he developed recurrent severe dyspnea accompanied by acute pain and pulselessness in his left leg. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed an enlarged right ventricle and suggested the presence of free-floating thrombi both in the right and in the left-heart cavities. During transesophageal echocardiography, a large serpentine left-heart thrombus embolized through the aortic valve and disappeared. The patient developed ventricular fibrillation and underwent successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation including emergency thrombolysis with alteplase. Four hours later, the surgeon retrieved a 20-cm long thrombus from the left femoral artery. © 2006 The European Society of Cardiology.
Maier, L. S., Teucher, N., Dörge, H., & Konstantinides, S. (2007). Large emboli on their way through the heart - First live demonstration of large paradoxical embolisms through a patent foramen ovale. European Journal of Echocardiography, 8(2), 158–160. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euje.2006.01.001