The pulmonary artery in patients with Marfan syndrome: a cross-sectional study

Genet Med. 2012 Nov;14(11):922-7. doi: 10.1038/gim.2012.82. Epub 2012 Jul 12.


Purpose: The objectives of this study were to establish the prevalence of pulmonary artery dilatation in Marfan syndrome using modern radiological methods and to correlate the diameter of the vessel with aortic disease.

Methods: Magnetic resonance or computed tomography imaging of the pulmonary artery and aorta was performed in 87 patients with proven Marfan syndrome. Diameters of the root and trunk of the pulmonary artery and of the aortic root were measured perpendicular to the long axes of the vessels. Pulmonary artery diameters were measured on axial images, and aortic diameters were assessed on oblique sagittal images.

Results: As compared with normal values in the literature, 47 of the 87 patients (54%) had widening of the trunk of the pulmonary artery (≥30 mm). Of these 47, 15% had no sign of disease of the ascending aorta. The mean (SD) ratio between the diameters of the root and trunk of the pulmonary artery was 1.18 (0.155). Multivariate analysis showed that surgery of the ascending aorta and high body surface area were associated with dilatation of the trunk of the pulmonary artery.

Conclusions: Pulmonary artery dilatation is present in a high proportion of patients with Marfan syndrome as assessed using cutoff values based on measurements in the normal population. Severe disease of the ascending aorta correlates significantly with pulmonary artery trunk dilatation in patients with Marfan syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aorta / anatomy & histology
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Aortic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Aortic Diseases / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dilatation, Pathologic / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Marfan Syndrome / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Pulmonary Artery / pathology*
  • ROC Curve
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods