Other Conditions & Exposures

Expert reports about Other Conditions & Exposures


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE MARFAN SYNDROME DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

                                                                                                                                                

What is Marfan syndrome during pregnancy?

Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a disorder resulting from a defect in connective tissue, due mostly to the presence of a defective form of a protein called fibrillin-1, resulting from a mutation in the FBN1 (also called MFS) gene. However, mutations of other genes also are associated with MFS. Connective tissue is affected throughout the body. This can cause problems with joints and eyes and typically causes people with MFS to be tall, with long, lanky limbs and fingers, which has led historians to suspect that certain figures, notably Abraham Lincoln and the pharaoh Akhenaten, suffered from MFS. Most critically, the connective tissue defects of MFS affect the cardiovascular system in very dangerous ways. This can be a particular issue in pregnancy, which produces some of the same cardiovascular complications, due to the hormonal changes and expansion of the volume of blood as pregnancy advances. This causes additional stretching of the aorta (the large artery that carries blood from the heart’s left ventricle) and stress on the heart’s valves that can add to the risks of complications to which women with MFS are already highly susceptible.


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