Relation of aortic root dilatation and age in Marfan's syndrome

Elhadi H. Aburawi, John O'Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The main aim of this study was to describe the age at which pathological aortic root dilation occurs in patients with Marfan's syndrome (MFS). Methods and results: A total of 160 patients with MFS attending a regional cardiac centre were reviewed retrospectively. Dilation of the ascending aorta was diagnosed by comparing the maximum aortic sinus measurement with control data from the literature. We employed a Kaplan-Meier survival curve to estimate the age at which dilatation occurs. The mean age of the total group at presentation was 15.5 years (range 1.5-40 years). Skeletal abnormalities were present in 95%. Eye involvement was found in 18%. In the 115/160 patients with an abnormal aortic root, 78/115 (68%) developed aortic root dilatation before 19 years of age. From the Kaplan-Meier curve, it can be estimated that about 35% of the patients have aortic root dilatation already at the age of 5 years and 70% before the age of 20 years, and at least 80% by 40 years. There were 31 patients with normal aortic root when first seen but 24/31 (77%) developed aortic root dilatation before the age of 19 years and 7/31 (22.6%) after 19 years of age. Of those (seven patients) who developed new pathological aortic root dilatation after age 19 years, the age range was between 21 and 40 years with a mean of 27 years. Overall, 13 patients (8%) had surgery for aortic root replacement. Conclusion: Aortic root dilatation develops early in MFS and was present in 35% by the age of 5 years and 68% by 19 years. Even though new aortic root dilation is relatively rare, it is not possible to safely discharge patients with MFS as about one-third of the patients in our series who developed new pathological aortic root dilation did so after the age of 19 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-379
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aorta root
  • Cohort study
  • Marfan's syndrome
  • Puberty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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