Extracardiac Manifestations Fail to Predict the Severity of Cardiac Phenotype in Children and Young Adults with Marfan Syndrome

Pediatr Cardiol. 2024 May 10. doi: 10.1007/s00246-024-03502-z. Online ahead of print.


We performed a secondary analysis of the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN) Marfan Trial public-use database to evaluate associations between extracardiac features and cardiac and aortic phenotypes in study participants. Aortic aneurysm phenotype was defined as aortic root Z-score ≥4.5, aortic root growth rate ≥75th percentile, aortic dissection, and aortic surgery. Severe cardiac phenotype was defined as aortic dissection, aortic Z-score ≥4.5, aortic valve surgery, at least moderate mitral regurgitation, mitral valve surgery, left ventricular dysfunction, or death. Extracardiac manifestations were characterized by specific organ system involvement and by a novel aggregate extracardiac score (AES) that was created for this study based on the original Ghent nosology. Mixed effects logistic regression analysis compared AES and systems involvement to outcomes. Of 608 participants (60% male), the median age at enrollment was 10.8 years (interquartile range: 6, 15.4). Aortic aneurysm phenotype was observed in 71% of participants and 64% had severe cardiac phenotype. On univariable analysis, skeletal (OR: 1.95, 95% CI: 1.01, 3.72; p = 0.05), skin manifestation (OR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.13, 2.34; p = 0.01) and AES (OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.34; p = 0.02) were associated with aortic aneurysm phenotype but were not significant in multivariable analysis. There was no association between extracardiac manifestations and severe cardiac phenotype. Thus, the severity of cardiac manifestations in Marfan syndrome (MFS) was independent of extracardiac phenotype and AES. Severity of extracardiac involvement did not appear to be a useful clinical marker for cardiovascular risk-stratification in this cohort of children and young adults with MFS.

Keywords: Cardiac phenotype; Extracardiac manifestations; Marfan syndrome.