Marfan Study Basics

Marfan Syndrome (MFS) is a disorder that can affect the heart and large blood vessels as well as eyes, muscles, bones and lungs. The most serious problems can happen when the body's largest blood vessel, the aorta, becomes enlarged in individuals with MFS. This study was done to compare two drugs (Atenolol and Losartan) to see if one is better than the other at slowing the speed of aortic enlargement. The study also compared the kinds of side effects that can occur when taking either of these medicines. The study enrolled 608 individuals, aged 6 months to 25 years of age.

Who was in the study?

Individuals enrolled in the study had:

  • A diagnosis of MFS according to Ghent criteria
  • Age 6 months to 25 
  • Aortic root Z-score >3.0

What happened in the study?

This is what was done in the study:

  • We reviewed the individuals’ medical records from time to time to get data about their heart problem, treatment history, and the results of previous echocardiograms.
  • Each study participant was randomized to either Atenolol or Losartan and took the study medication for 3 years. 
  • There were 5 study visits over three years, including the first visit and then at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months after the first visit. Each study visit included an echocardiogram; some visits also included Holter monitoring and blood tests. 

What were the results of the study?

Among children and young adults with Marfan's syndrome who were randomly assigned to losartan or atenolol, we found no significant difference in the rate of aortic-root dilatation between the two treatment groups over a 3-year period.