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Marfan Syndrome in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is Marfan syndrome?

Marfan syndrome is a disorder that weakens your child's connective tissue. Connective tissue gives strength and support to tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and other parts of the body. Marfan syndrome keeps many of these parts of your child's body from being as strong as they should be. This can cause problems in your child's bones, eyes, heart, and blood vessels. Marfan syndrome is caused by a change in a gene, weakening connective tissues. Your child may inherit the condition from one or both parents, but it is not always genetic.

What are the signs and symptoms of Marfan syndrome?

Signs and symptoms may happen right away or develop as your child gets older:

How is Marfan syndrome diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will do a complete physical exam to check for signs of Marfan syndrome. The provider will also ask about your child's health history and family health history. Your child may be given contrast liquid before some of the following tests. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.

How is Marfan syndrome treated?

Treatment is given to correct any problems in your child's body or to prevent more damage. Your child's healthcare provider may want to monitor your child's condition over time. Your child may need to avoid activities that make his or her heart pump hard. Your child may need to avoid playing contact sports, such as football and hockey. Light physical activity and certain sports may be allowed, depending on your child's condition. Your child may also need any of the following:

Further information

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.