Marfan syndrome & Related Disorders
Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder of the connective tissue (fibers that provide the framework and support for the body) that is estimated to occur in at least 1 in 5,000 persons. It is seen in all races and ethnic groups, and can appear at any age. Marfan syndrome is characterized by multiple abnormalities in the connective tissue primarily affecting the skeleton system (bones and ligaments), the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels), the eyes, the lungs, and the skin.
The Marfan Syndrome and Related Disorders Clinic at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital is a dedicated clinic that provides multi-disciplinary care for patients with Marfan syndrome and related connective tissue disorders including the Loeys-Dietz syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The team is led by medical director and cardiologist, Marla A. Mendelson, MDand surgical director and cardiac surgeon, S. Chris Malaisrie, MD. Drs. Mendelson and Malaisrie work closely with Barbara K. Burton, MD, medical geneticist and director of the Marfan Clinic at Children's Memorial Hospital. Medical and surgical specialties affiliated with the clinics include cardiac surgery, cardiology, medical genetics, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, obstetrics, orthopedics, pain/anesthesia, and pulmonology.
Cardiovascular abnormalities associated with Marfan syndrome are by far the most serious abnormalities, potentially causing life-threatening situations and death. Cardiovascular abnormalities associated with Marfan syndrome include aneurysm (enlargement), dissection (tear within the inner wall), or rupture of the aorta and/or aortic root, as well as mitral valve disease. Cardiac surgeons, Dr. Malaisrie and Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, have championed and offer the most advanced surgical techniques such as valve-sparing aortic root surgery and mitral valve repair to correct these cardiovascular abnormalities.
The Marfan Syndrome and Related Disorders Clinic understands that with focused and appropriate medical and surgical intervention, Marfan syndrome patients with cardiovascular abnormalities can expect to achieve longevity comparable to people without connective tissue disorders.
For more information regarding Marfan syndrome and related disorders, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 1-866-662-8467 or request a first time appointment online.
In addition, the most credible source of information about Marfan syndrome is the National Marfan Foundation (NMF). Please visit the NMF Web site.
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In 2012 U.S. News & World Report ranked our Cardiology and Heart Surgery program 17th in the nation and the highest ranked program in the state of Illinois.
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