How a Child Gets Marfan Syndrome
Characteristics and Symptoms
- Is very tall and thin
- Has loose, flexible joints
- Has long arms, legs, fingers and toes
- Has flat feet
- Has a long, narrow face
- Has teeth that are too crowded
- Has a high roof of the mouth
Marfan syndrome can weaken blood vessels and tissue around the heart and stretch and weaken the walls of the aorta. This can cause the aorta to tear or burst (called aortic dissection), which can be life-threatening.
Marfan syndrome also can cause problems in the heart’s mitral valve. This valve controls some of the heart’s blood flow. Tiny flaps in the mitral valve keep the blood flowing in one direction. Marfan syndrome can cause the flaps to be large and floppy, which keeps them from closing properly. When this happens, blood can leak backwards during a heartbeat. This condition is called mitral valve prolapse; it may cause an irregular or fast heartbeat and breathing problems.
If your child has an artificial heart valve, she may need to take antibiotics before going to the dentist. Antibiotics are medicines that kill infections caused by bacteria. Teeth cleaning, fillings and other dental work can put bacteria into the blood, which can cause a heart infection. Antibiotics can help prevent these infections.
Important Facts About Marfan Syndrome
- Marfan Syndrome can cause blood vessel, heart, eye, and bone problems for a child.
- Children that have Marfan Syndrome are more at risk for scoliosis.
- About 1 in 4 children don't inherit Marfan Syndrome, but develop it in the womb.