Marfan Syndrome | Treatments

What are the treatment options for Marfan syndrome?

Marfan syndrome doesn't have a cure. But treatments can help delay or prevent complications, especially when they're started early, which is why early diagnosis is so important.

Marfan syndrome can affect many parts of your child's body, including the heart, bones and joints and eyes. The type of treatment your child receives depends on his or her symptoms and related conditions.

Heart treatments

The most common and serious heart problem in children and adults with Marfan syndrome is aortic dilation (aneurysm), a stretching and weakening of the aorta. It can lead to a bulge, tear or leak in the aorta, which can be life threatening.

Treatments may include:
  • medication, including beta blockers, to lower the child’s blood pressure and reduce stress on the aorta, and angiotensin II blocker Losartan.
  • surgery to replace the affected part of aorta or surgery to repair the heart valve if it’s not working normally

Pectus treatments 

If your child has scoliosis — a common problem in children with Marfan syndrome — your child may need to wear a brace or other device to prevent the condition from getting worse. Severe cases of scoliosis may require surgery.

Some children may also need surgery to repair a chest that sinks in (pectus carinatum) or that sticks out (pectus excavatum). Surgery to repair a concave chest is done to prevent the chest from pressing on the lungs and heart and is generally very successful.

Eye treatments

Marfan syndrome can lead to many eye problems, such as a dislocated lens, nearsightedness, early glaucoma, early cataracts or a detached retina.

Glasses or contact lenses can help with some of these problems, but children may need surgery for a dislocated lens or cataracts. Treatments for glaucoma may include eye drops, medications, laser therapy or surgery.

What is the long-term outlook for children with Marfan syndrome?

People with Marfan syndrome can lead normal lives. Treatments for Marfan syndrome are continually being refined, with long-term outcomes constantly improving. Still, Marfan syndrome patients will need lifelong monitoring and possibly medication, since they will always be at some risk for other heart problems.

Your child's cardiologist will help you create a long-term care program for your child as he or she matures into the teen years and adulthood.

As your child becomes an adult, he or she will be treated by the Adult Congenital Heart Program.