Signs & Symptoms Heart & Vascular

Marfan Syndrome
Signs and Symptoms

The most common and serious feature of Marfan syndrome is dilation or widening of the aorta, which is the main blood vessel that carries blood out of the heart to the rest of the body. The dilation can progress until the wall of the aorta tears, a condition called aortic dissection. This is the most serious or life-threatening feature of Marfan syndrome. However, aortic dissection can be avoided by taking appropriate medicine and with preventive surgery to replace a dilated aorta, before it tears.

Since Marfan syndrome is partly caused by changes in growth regulation, people with the disorder can often have some of the following traits:

  • They are taller than people in their family who do not have Marfan syndrome
  • They may have long, thin fingers and long arms and legs
  • They may have a dislocation of the lens in the eye that also causes nearsightedness or myopia that can progress quickly
  • They may have a detached retina, early glaucoma or early cataracts

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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