The immediate and long-term impact of pregnancy on aortic growth rate and mortality in women with Marfan syndrome

Ryan T. Donnelly, Nelangi M. Pinto, Irene Kocolas, Anji T. Yetman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Scopus citations


Objectives: The study sought to assess the impact of pregnancy on the rate of aortic growth as well as on short- and long-term clinical outcomes in women with Marfan syndrome. Background: There is a paucity of data on peripartum and long-term clinical outcomes in women with Marfan syndrome who are followed prospectively during pregnancy. Methods: Echocardiographic, demographic, and surgical data review of all adult females with a confirmed diagnosis of Marfan syndrome was performed. Results: Of the 98 women identified, 69 (72%) experienced a total of 199 pregnancies resulting in 170 (86%) live births. The median number of pregnancies per women was 3 (interquartile range: 1 to 12). Obstetrical complications occurred in 17 (10%) and adverse fetal outcomes in 22 (13%). No woman experienced aortic dissection or required cardiac surgery during pregnancy. Aortic growth rate increased during pregnancy and did not return to baseline following pregnancy completion. Despite the lack of catastrophic peripartum complications, the prevalence of both aortic dissection and elective aortic surgery during long-term follow-up was higher in those women who had a prior pregnancy. Risk factors for adverse cardiac outcome included greater aortic diameter, greater rate of aortic growth during pregnancy, increased number of pregnancies, lack of beta-blocker use during pregnancy, and lack of prospective pregnancy follow-up. Conclusions: There is a low incidence of aortic complications during pregnancy in women with Marfan syndrome and an aortic diameter <4.5 cm. However, pregnancy does increase the risk of aortic complications in the long-term in this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-229
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 17 2012



  • Marfan syndrome
  • aorta
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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