• Anatomy and pathology;
  • Cardiology;
  • Cardiovascular;
  • Congenital heart defects


Right-to-left (R-L) shunt caused by patent foramen ovale (PFO) concurrent with pulmonic stenosis (PS) is considered common, although there is a lack of published evidence.


To investigate the prevalence of R-L shunt caused by a PFO in dogs with PS.


Thirty-one client-owned dogs with PS, without obvious extracardiac disease detected on the clinical examinations.


Case control study: R-L shunt probably caused by PFO was diagnosed when IV injected microbubbles appeared at the left atrial level with an intact atrial septum on echocardiography (bubble-positive dogs). The severity of PS concurrent tricuspid regurgitation (TR), relative thickness of the right ventricle, and relative right atrial area were compared between bubble-positive and bubble-negative dogs.


The prevalence of R-L shunts caused by PFO was 39% (12 of 31 cases). The instantaneous pressure gradient (PG) across the pulmonic valve and relative thickness of the right ventricle were significantly increased in bubble-positive compared with those in bubble-negative dogs. None of the dogs with mild or moderate PS (pressure gradient < 80 mm Hg, n = 2) demonstrated R-L shunt. The prevalence of TR in bubble-positive dogs was significantly higher than that in bubble-negative dogs.

Discussion and Clinical Relevance

Patent foramen ovale PFO with R-L shunt was more common in dogs with very severe PS and absent in dogs with mild PS.