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Marfan Syndrome

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Submitted By cmolack
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Marfan syndrome is a heritable condition that affects the connective tissue of the heart. The primary purpose of connective tissue is to hold the body together and provide a framework for growth and development. In Marfan syndrome, the connective tissue is defective and does not act as it should. Because connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan syndrome can affect many body systems, including the skeleton, eyes, heart and blood vessels, nervous system, skin, and lungs. Marfan syndrome affects men, woman, and children, and has been found among people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. It is estimated that at least 1 in 5,000 people in the United States have this disorder. Marfan syndrome affects different people in different ways. Some people have only mild symptoms, while others are more severely affected. In most cases, the symptoms progress as the person ages. The body systems most often affected by Marfan syndrome include the skeleton, eyes, cardio vascular system, nervous system, skin, and lungs. We are mainly going to be focused on the cardio vascular system which includes that heart and blood vessles. Most people with Marfan syndrome have abnormalities associated with the heart and blood vessels. Because of faulty connective tissue, the wall of the aorta may be weakened and stretch, a process that is called aortic dilatation. Aortic dilatation increases the risk that the aorta will tear or rupture, causing serious heart problems or sometimes sudden death. Sometimes, defects in heart valves can also cause problems. In some cases, certain valves may leak, creating a heart murmur which a doctor can hear through a stethoscope. Small leaks may not result in any symptoms, but larger ones may cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and even palpations. There is no specific laboratory test, such as a blood test or skin bioposy, to...

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