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Platypnea-orthodeoxia associated with a fenestrated atrial septal aneurysm: Case Report

William J van Gaal1*, Majo Joseph2, Elizabeth Jones2, George Matalanis2 and Mark Horrigan2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cardiology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxon, OX3 9DU, UK

2 Department of Cardiology, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, 3084, Australia

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Cardiovascular Ultrasound 2005, 3:28  doi:10.1186/1476-7120-3-28

Published: 13 September 2005



Platypnea-orthodeoxia describes the condition of combined dyspnea and hypoxia respectively, whilst in the upright position, which improves in the recumbent position.

Case Report

We present a case of platypnea-orthodeoxia due to a fenestrated atrial septal defect associated with an atrial septal aneurysm. Due to the fenestrated nature of the atrial septal defect, surgical rather than percutaneous correction was performed.


A high index of suspicion is required to diagnose the syndrome of platypnea-orthodeoxia. Careful echocardiographic evaluation is required to identify the syndrome, and to determine suitability for percutaneous repair.