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Vasa. 2010 Feb;39(1):17-32. doi: 10.1024/0301-1526/a000002.

Marfan syndrome and the evolving spectrum of heritable thoracic aortic disease: do we need genetics for clinical decisions?

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Centre of Cardiology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a disorder of the connective tissue that is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion and that is classically caused by mutations in the gene coding for fibrillin-1, FBN1. The high mortality of untreated MFS results almost exclusively from aortic complications such as aortic dissection and rupture. However, more than half of patients with Marfan-like features do not have MFS, but have other diseases including inherited aortic aneurysms and dissections (TAAD). We elucidate the increasing spectrum of syndromes associated with Marfan-like features and discuss the clinical implications of these diseases. We performed a systematic review to tabulate all known inherited diseases and syndromes carrying a risk for thoracic aortic disease. We discuss evidence that different syndromes with different causative genes and mutations have different prognoses and profiles of cardiovascular manifestations. We conclude that future decisions for optimized management of patients with inherited TAAD require a comprehensive clinical and genetic work-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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