Genetics Home > Symptoms of Marfan Syndrome

In most cases, symptoms of Marfan syndrome progress as the person ages. Marfan syndrome affects people in different ways in different parts of the body. For example, a person with the disorder may experience crowded teeth, cataracts, stretch marks, and heart problems. And while some people may only have mild symptoms, other people experience more severe symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Marfan Syndrome: An Introduction

Marfan syndrome affects different people in different ways. Some people have only mild symptoms, while others are more severely affected. However, in most cases, Marfan syndrome symptoms progress as the person ages. The body systems most often affected by Marfan syndrome are the:
  • Skeleton
  • Eyes
  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Nervous system
  • Skin
  • Lungs
People with Marfan syndrome are typically very tall, slender, and loose jointed. Arms, legs, fingers, and toes may be disproportionately long in relation to the rest of the body because Marfan syndrome affects the long bones of the skeleton.
A person with Marfan syndrome usually has a long, narrow face, and the roof of the mouth may be arched, causing the teeth to be crowded. Other skeletal abnormalities include a sternum (breastbone) that is either protruding or indented, curvature of the spine (scoliosis), and flat feet.
More than half of all people with symptoms of Marfan syndrome experience dislocation of one or both lenses of the eye. Possible eye symptoms of Marfan syndrome include:
  • The lens may be slightly higher or lower than normal
  • The lens may be shifted off to one side
  • Retinal detachment
  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Early glaucoma (high pressure within the eye)
  • Cataracts (the eye's lens loses its clearness).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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