The Brain-Heart Team Approach: Secondary Prevention After a Presumed PFO-Mediated Stroke | SCAI


The session will present actionable insights for neurologists and cardiologists about how to build a team around and select appropriate patients for patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure after a cryptogenic stroke.

Target Audience

Physicians participating in PFO closure programs must work together in the context of a larger system of 
health that includes stakeholders from multiple disciplines. The notion of multidisciplinary teams was first validated in the surgical arena and has gained traction more recently with the evolution of percutaneous valve therapies.

It is therefore expected that recurrent stroke prevention in the cryptogenic stroke patient population will be a collaborative effort of physician and non-physician experts that may include vascular neurologists, interventional cardiologists, hematologists, imaging experts, primary care providers, and others. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity participants will be able to demonstrate the ability to: 

  • Describe the epidemiology and burden of cryptogenic ischemic stroke 
  • List competencies and resources necessary to constitute a Brain-Heart team 
  • Perform the complete evaluation of ischemic stroke patients to determine stroke mechanism 
  • Describe key clinical trial data regarding the safety and efficacy of FDA-approved devices for PFO closure to prevent secondary stroke 
  • Suspect PFO in patients with cryptogenic stroke and ensure appropriate team-based evaluation 
  • Deploy shared decision-making principles with cryptogenic stroke patients with PFO to determine the patients preferred secondary stroke prevention strategies 




Megan Coylewright 2021

Megan Coylewright, MD, FSCAI

Director, Structural Heart Program, The Erlanger Heart and Lung Institute, Chattanooga
JSCAI Editorial Board
Committee Member
Council Member
ELM Fellow (past)
Steven Messe

Steven Messe, MD

Professor of Neurology Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Neurology Chair
Megan Stevens

Megan Stevens, MD

Vascular Neurologist at Erlanger Hospital and Affiliated Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Tennessee Chattanooga
Molly Szerlip

Molly Szerlip, MD, FSCAI

Medical Director of the Percutaneous Valve Program, Baylor Scott & White
JSCAI Editorial Board
Program Chair
Committee Chair
Committee Member
ELM Fellow (past)
ELM Mentor (current)
David E. Thaler

David E. Thaler, MD, PhD

Director emeritus, The Comprehensive Stroke Center at Tufts Medical Center; Professor of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine; and Chairman, Department of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine
John J. Volpi

John J. Volpi, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology and The Elkins Family Distinguished Centennial Clinical Academic Scholar in Neurology at Houston Methodist



The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions is accredited by the Accreditation Council 
for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

Credit Designation

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions designates the live activity The Brain-Heart Approach: Secondary Prevention After a Presumed PFO-Mediated Stroke for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of 
their participation in the activity. 


Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the learner to earn up to 1.5 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit learner completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

Successful Completion

Attend the live activity and complete the evaluation to obtain credit.



Acknowledgement of Commercial Support

This activity is supported through unrestricted educational grants from Abbott and W.L. Gore & Associates.

No in-kind commercial support was received.



Events Schedule

Learning opportunities from SCAI for the interventional cardiology team.