Marfan Syndrome and Cardiac Complications

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Marfan syndrome is a genetic condition that causes problems with the heart, lungs, skin and vision. According to Dr. Chris Malaisrie, it affects about one in 5,000 people. Dr. Malaisrie, co director of the Marfan syndrome and Related Disorders Clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, joins Andrew for this Patient Power program to discuss the importance of diagnosing and treating Marfan syndrome.

Dr. Malaisrie begins by explaining exactly what Marfan syndrome is and why it can cause complications in the heart, and other organs in the body. He speaks about the importance of diagnosing the condition and explains why some people do not realize they have Marfan syndrome until it is too late. Preventative measures can be taken to reduce complications, Dr. Malaisrie details the ways in which the condition can be treated, including surgery. He also talks about what can happen should the disease go untreated.

In addition to a thorough explanation of Marfan syndrome, Dr. Malaisrie answers listener questions on topics such as weightlifting and osteoporosis. To close, he shares information about related conditions and the importance of seeking care at a clinic that specializes in the condition so that you can get the proper diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have Marfan syndrome, this program can certainly give you the tools you need to obtain a proper diagnosis and the care that you need.

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Transcript

Andrew Schorr:

Have you ever heard of a condition called Marfan syndrome? That's a genetic condition that causes problems with the heart, lungs, skin and vision. There are about 50,000 cases of that in the US, but there are many people who don't know it. If only they did, their life could be lengthened. Meet a leading expert in Marfan syndrome and hear the latest next on Patient Power.

Hello and welcome to Patient Power sponsored by Northwestern Memorial Hospital. There's a condition called Marfan syndrome, and it's a genetic condition that causes problems with the heart lungs, skin and vision, and in some people if untreated it can shorten their lives. They may live 30, 35, 40, 45 years, but not the much longer life that we would all want. But there is help if only they can be identified and connect with a leading specialist.

We'd like to connect you now with a leading specialist, and that is Dr. Chris Malaisrie. He is an assistant professor in the division of cardiothoracic surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Feinberg School of Medicine of course at Northwestern. He's co director of the Marfan syndrome and Related Disorders Clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. Dr. Malaisrie, thank you so much for joining us. Marfan syndrome, help us understand what it is. It's a genetic condition, so what's gone wrong if somebody has it?

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