We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Treatment for Marfan Syndrome?

By Emma Lloyd
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects bones and soft tissues; people with this syndrome tend to have skeletal, eye, and heart defects. The syndrome is not curable, but the physical problems it causes can be monitored and treated, both to reduce their severity and to reduce the risks of further complications. Treatment for Marfan syndrome includes surgery, medication, and prophylactic antibiotics to reduce infection risks in certain circumstances.

The cause of Marfan syndrome is a mutation in a gene called fibrillin-1. When this gene is mutated, the body cannot properly produce and repair connective tissues. Connective tissues are present throughout the body in organs, vessels, and muscles, so people with this syndrome are affected in many different ways. In general, an individual will receive treatment for Marfan syndrome symptoms as they emerge. Some symptoms, such as heart defects, are screened for at an early age to prevent serious complications.

Abnormal bone growth can cause joint pain, speech disorders, and scoliosis. Joint pain is typically treated with medication, while speech therapy is employed if necessary for speech disorders. In the case of scoliosis, the most common treatment is the use of a corrective brace to help prevent spinal curvature from worsening; in severe cases, surgery can help straighten the spine. For some children, bone deformities can cause the chest to grow in a concave fashion, affecting breathing. Surgery to correct the concavity can help the child breathe normally.

Eye problems caused by connective tissue defects can include severe nearsightedness or visual distortion. Some patients may experience dislocated lenses, glaucoma, cataracts, and detached retinas. In some cases, these problems can be partially corrected with laser surgery, while some patients may require a corneal transplant for the treatment of cataracts. Annual examinations are recommended as a preventative treatment for Marfan syndrome-related eye disorders.

The most serious symptoms of the syndrome involve the heart, and one potential problem is called aortic dilation, which occurs when the aorta becomes enlarged. An enlarged aorta can rupture, resulting in a high risk of death if not treated promptly; consequently, aortic dilation is typically treated with surgery when the enlargement is severe enough. Other cardiac symptoms can include heart palpitations, racing heart, shortness of breath, and angina, caused by deterioration of cardiac connective tissue. Cardiac treatment for Marfan syndrome can include medication to slow and stabilize the heart rate, and cardiac surgery if heart valves become too damaged to function effectively.

Sometimes, treatment for Marfan syndrome symptoms is carried out on a prophylactic basis. This means treatment is used as a preventative measure in certain specific circumstances. One example of this is the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics before dental procedures which may prevent the development of endocarditis, a heart-related infection. Additionally, women with the syndrome are monitored very closely when they become pregnant. This is necessary because cardiac symptoms can worsen during pregnancy, as excess stress is placed upon the heart.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.