Aortic disease in patients with Marfan syndrome: aortic volume assessment for surveillance

Radiology. 2013 Nov;269(2):370-7. doi: 10.1148/radiology.13122310. Epub 2013 Jun 25.


Purpose: To assess the reproducibility of aortic volume estimates and to serially test their use in patients with Marfan syndrome.

Materials and methods: The study was approved by the medical ethics committee and all subjects gave written informed consent. In 81 patients with Marfan syndrome and seven healthy control subjects, aortic volumes and diameters at baseline were estimated by means of contrast material-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. At 3 years of follow-up, aortic expansion rate were calculated in a subgroup of 22 patients with Marfan syndrome. Total aortic volume was defined as volume measurement from the level of the aortic annulus to the aortic bifurcation. Intra- and interobserver agreement of aortic volume were calculated by using the intraclass correlation coefficient. Differences in variables were analyzed with the Student t test and logistic regression. Effect size was calculated.

Results: Intra- and interobserver agreement of aortic volume calculation was 0.996 and 0.980, respectively. Mean aortic volume was significantly greater in patients with Marfan syndrome than in control subjects (104 mL/m(2); 95% confidence interval [CI]: 95, 114 mL/m(2) vs 74 mL/m(2); 95% CI: 62, 87 mL/m(2); P < .001). In 22 patients with Marfan syndrome, mean aortic volume was increased at 3 years of follow-up (17 mL; 95% CI: 8, 26 mL; P = .001; effect size, 0.29), while mean aortic diameter did not increase significantly (0.4 mm; 95% CI: 0.0, 0.9 mm; P = .171; effect size, 0.13).

Conclusion: Assessment of aortic volume is highly reproducible and may be suited for use in the detection of aortic expansion in patients with Marfan syndrome.

Supplemental material:

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aortic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Aortic Diseases / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Marfan Syndrome / complications*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Contrast Media