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Transcript
Information Sheet
Marfan Syndrome and Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy
Blessing Hospital, Heart and Vascular Center will be providing free cardiac ultrasounds to
children of Blessing Associates to look for two rare diseases - Marfan syndrome and
hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy - which are particularly important to detect early in
young athletes. In order to provide you more information on these conditions and their
possible effects, we have prepared the following descriptions.
Marfan Syndrome
Marfan syndrome is a disease that affects the connective tissue. Connective tissue is the
most abundant tissue in the body and is a vital component to supporting the body's organs. For
people with Marfan syndrome, the chemical makeup of the connective tissue isn't normal and
as a result is not as strong as it should be.
In the heart, the valves and/or main artery attached to the heart can be affected by
Marfan syndrome. The valve leaflets become floppy and do not close tightly, allowing blood to
leak backwards across the valve. The aorta may become enlarged and could rupture. An
echocardiogram can detect changes in the heart. Marfan syndrome is rare, affecting 1 person in
20,000.
For more information on Marfan syndrome, visit the National Marfan Foundation’s
website at www.marfan.org.
Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) is a form of cardiomyopathy (disease
of the heart muscle) involving enlargement and thickening of the heart muscle. This
enlargement interferes with the function of the heart. This disease is also rare, affecting 1 or 2
in 1,000.
In this condition, heart muscle becomes too thick to function properly. It may interfere
with the functioning of the heart by reducing the size of the ventricular chamber, and may also
reduce the ability of the valves to work properly. The enlargement may, in some circumstances,
obstruct the flow of blood out of the heart. Younger people are likely to have a more severe
form of the disease, but HOCM may be diagnosed in people of all ages. HOCM is also the most
common cause of sudden death in American athletes.
For more information on HOCM, you can visit the website of the Hypertrophic
Cardiomyopathy Association at www.4hcm.org.
Again, these diseases are rare, but we feel it is important to screen for and detect them
early in young athletes in order to treat them appropriately.