The Marfan syndrome

Annu Rev Med. 2000;51:481-510. doi: 10.1146/


The Marfan syndrome (MFS), initially described just over 100 years ago, was among the first conditions classified as a heritable disorder of connective tissue. MFS lies at one end of a phenotypic continuum, with people in the general population who have one or another of the features of MFS at the other end, and those with a variety of other conditions in between. Diagnosis of MFS and these other conditions remains based on clinical features. Mutations in FBN1, the gene that encodes fibrillin-1, are responsible for MFS and (in a few patients) other disorders in the continuum. In addition to skeletal, ocular, and cardiovascular features, patients with MFS have involvement of the skin, integument, lungs, and muscle tissue. Over the past 30 years, evolution of aggressive medical and surgical management of the cardiovascular problems, especially mitral valve prolapse, aortic dilatation, and aortic dissection, has resulted in considerable improvement in life expectancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Marfan Syndrome* / complications
  • Marfan Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Marfan Syndrome* / etiology