Marfan syndrome affects the connective tissues in the body, including those that support the blood vessels. Because it can affect tissues that support the aorta — the large artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the body — people who have Marfan syndrome should have their heart health evaluated to avoid potentially life-threatening complications. Most cases of Marfan syndrome are genetic, so they are inherited through a gene mutation.
Marfan Syndrome Treatment at Dignity Health
At Dignity Health, we offer a full range of care for vascular conditions, including Marfan syndrome, in Arizona. Your care team includes cardiologists and other specialists, including therapists, nurses, dietitians, and technicians. We are proud to be a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular care.
Find a Doctor online or call (844) 852-0648 to make an appointment with one of our vascular experts today. We offer cardiovascular services and diagnostic procedures at our Chandler Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center campuses.
Treatment of Marfan syndrome aims to handle complications and reduce the risk of developing additional complications. Treatment may include:
- Medications to make your heart beat more slowly to reduce its workload
- Lifelong monitoring of your heart and aorta
Because some cases of Marfan syndrome have no known cause, it may not be possible to prevent the condition. Adults with Marfan syndrome should be aware they can pass the condition along to their children.
What Causes Marfan Syndrome?
Marfan syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that decreases production of a protein called fibrillin. Most people with Marfan syndrome inherited this mutation from a parent. If you have Marfan syndrome, you have a 50 percent chance of passing along the defective gene to your children.
Not everyone with Marfan syndrome inherits the condition from a parent. About 25 percent of people with the condition are born with it for no known reason.
Marfan Syndrome Symptoms
Everyone experiences Marfan syndrome differently. Even people in the same family can have different symptoms with different degrees of severity.
People with Marfan syndrome exhibit traits that indicate their connective tissue is not as rigid as it should be. A person with Marfan syndrome may have a few of these traits or all of them. These include an abnormally curved spine, unusually flexible joints, flat feet, and other physical attributes. People with Marfan syndrome are unusually slim, tall, and have a sunken chest.
Marfan syndrome can cause several complications related to the heart and blood vessels. When Marfan causes heart problems, symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart murmur
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience chest pain, which is a sign of heart attack.
Dignity Health offers comprehensive care and treatment for Marfan syndrome in Arizona.