Is Marfan syndrome associated with symptomatic intracranial aneurysms?

Stroke. 1996 Jan;27(1):10-2. doi: 10.1161/01.str.27.1.10.


Background and purpose: Marfan syndrome is a heritable disorder of connective tissue caused by a deficiency of the glycoprotein fibrillin. In several publications and neurological textbooks, a relationship between Marfan syndrome and intracranial aneurysms has been assumed.

Methods: The records of 135 patients classified as having Marfan syndrome who visited the Amsterdam Marfan clinic or were admitted to the departments of neurology and neurosurgery and the records of all patients with a subarachnoid hemorrhage or intracranial aneurysm who visited or were admitted to the departments of neurology and neurosurgery between January 1, 1982, and January 1, 1994, were retrieved. The literature was reviewed regarding Marfan syndrome and intracranial aneurysms.

Results: No patient visiting the Marfan clinic had a symptomatic intracranial aneurysm. No patient with Marfan syndrome had been admitted with a ruptured intracranial aneurysm at the departments of neurology or neurosurgery in this period, while during that period 826 patients with symptomatic intracranial aneurysms had been admitted. During follow-up of 129 of the 135 patients with Marfan syndrome (2850 retrospective patient observation years and 581 prospective patient observation years), none presented a symptomatic intracranial aneurysm. The suggested relationship between Marfan syndrome and intracranial aneurysms is based mainly on 10 case reports. However, the diagnosis of Marfan syndrome is doubtful in several of these reports. Several large studies of patients with Marfan syndrome did not mention a ruptured intracranial aneurysm as a clinical manifestation.

Conclusions: We conclude that there is insufficient evidence to presume a relationship between symptomatic intracranial aneurysms and Marfan syndrome on the basis of currently available data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / complications
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications*
  • Male
  • Marfan Syndrome / complications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications