Early intervention beneficial in Marfan syndrome

MIAMI – New guidelines for surgery are improving outcomes for people with Marfan syndrome, a congenital disorder that can damage the heart and increase the risk of sudden death.

Dr. Allan Stewart, a specialist in cardiology with HCA Florida Mercy Hospital, said the chance for early surgical intervention has expanded because of revised requirements for the size of the aorta, the largest artery of the body.

Marfan’s causes the aorta to enlarge to the point where it can rupture.

“The goal is if we know somebody has Marfan’s disease to never have them dissect their aorta. And so, what’s the magic number in it being safe to follow along and time to intervene and we found that in the absence of any other relatives who had a problem, that’s 5 centimeters. Now we back that down to 4 and a half centimeters if someone in the family has had a dissection or any other related problem and also even lower than that--4 centimeters if it’s a woman who is premenopausal and wants to contemplate having kids,” he said.

Stewart says the interventional surgery can only be done by a qualified specialist in Marfan’s disease.

Every year Local10 News takes part in the Marfan Foundation’s ‘Walk for Victory’ which raises awareness and funding for research.

The event is on Sunday in Hollywood.

To find out how to participate, click the link below.


Scientists at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center announced the development of a technology to identify potential therapeutic targets for glioblastoma, an aggressive and usually fatal type of brain cancer.

The discovery, which involved international researchers, could also have a major impact on the treatment of certain breast, lung and pediatric cancers.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.