Ten-year epidemiological review of in-hospital patients with Marfan syndrome

Ann Vasc Surg. 2008 Sep;22(5):608-12. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2008.04.005. Epub 2008 Jun 17.


Marfan syndrome is a connective tissue disorder with a worldwide prevalence of 1 in 5,000, without any racial predilection. Major cardiovascular manifestations of Marfan disease often require surgical intervention. The aim of this study was to examine the demographics of patients with Marfan syndrome admitted to Hong Kong hospitals over a 10-year period from 1997 to 2006. We retrospectively reviewed the prospectively collected Hong Kong Health Authority's Clinical Data Analysis and Reporting System and Clinical Medical System. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS, version 15. A total of 525 patients with Marfan syndrome (310 male, 215 female) were included in this study. For males, mean age at first hospital admission was 19.8 years (range 0-78) and for females, 18.7 years (range 0-60). One hundred and twelve (21.3%) patients (56 male, 56 female) had documented aortoiliac aneurysms and/or dissection, with 74 (66.7%) cases involving the thoracic aorta. Forty-nine (9.3%) patients had major cardiac or aortoiliac operations, with an operative mortality of 5/49 (10.2%). Thirty-seven (7.0%) patients (23 male, 14 female) died during this period, with a mean age at death of 41.0 years (range 0-83) for males and 29.9 years (range 0-59) for females. The majority of these patients died of cardiovascular causes, with four aortic dissections, two ruptured aneurysms, seven with sudden collapse and cardiac arrest, and five with heart failure. In addition, there were other causes of mortality: five perioperative, one congenital, and four pulmonary causes, three with malignancy and one of stroke. The cause of death was unknown in five patients. Patients with aortoiliac diseases have a statistically significant higher mortality rate (p < 0.05). This population-based study shows that significant numbers of patients with Marfan syndrome are admitted to hospital per year, with a significant proportion requiring admissions at a young age. Life span in Marfan patients is markedly shortened, and aortoiliac disease is probably underdiagnosed. A standardized diagnostic and therapeutic follow-up program should be offered to these patients and their families.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aorta / surgery
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inpatients* / statistics & numerical data
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Longevity
  • Male
  • Marfan Syndrome / complications
  • Marfan Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Marfan Syndrome / mortality
  • Marfan Syndrome / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / mortality