Posted by: anon308 | 2013-01-22

Marfan Syndrome - who knows about it?


My daughter was clinically diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome at the age of 2 year when we took her for her standard 2 year check up with the paediatrician.

She is 2 year and 4 months now and for the the last four months she has been on Losartan 12.5mg.

A echocardiogram was done and this was the conclusion:

Dilated aortic root
Prolapsing MV and TV leaflets
Moderate MR and Mild TR

Family has no history of symptoms of Marfan Syndrom.

What I would like to know is, we would love to have another child. I planned to go off of contraception end of Aug 2012 but my daughter was diagnosed 2 Sept so we put it on hold.
We have been for counciling. And they explaned to us how she may have gotten it and what the chances will be that our second child may also have it.

But with our families not having history of Marfans we do not know what to do. Do we have another child or don’  t we?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Dear Anon308

Thanks for your question. I am sorry to hear that your daughter has Marfan’s syndrome.
Marfan’s syndrome is generally inherited as an autosomal dominant, in other words, if one parent has the condition then 50% of children will also be affected. However, about 25% of patients with Marfan’s syndrome do not have a family history of the condition, but have it as a result of a spontaneous mutation in a gene known as FBN-1. This presumably is how your child got the condition.

This also means that if neither parent is affected, as in your case, the chance of a second child having Marfan’s syndrome is very low, probably of the order of 1%. Unfortunately it is not possible to guarantee that a second child will not have the condition, but the chance is very low. If you badly want a second child I would first have yourselves checked, to make double sure neither of you have the condition, and then go ahead.

Pre-natal diagnosis is available overseas, but unfortunately not yet in South Africa. The test would involve taking a small sample of foetal tissue or amniotic fluid and then testing for the presence of the mutation in the FBN1 gene. However the test may soon be available in South Africa through private pathology services, such as Pathcare, and I have been told the cost will be about R18000.00.

You might like to contact the South African Marfan’s syndrome organization, SAMSO at

I hope things go well for you.

Best wishes.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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