Journal of the American Heart Association 2017 11 076(11) pii e006815
Marfan syndrome is characterized by aortic root dilation, beginning in childhood. Data about aortic pulsatile hemodynamics and stiffness in pediatric age are currently lacking.
METHODS AND RESULTS
In 51 young patients with Marfan syndrome (12.0±3.3 years), carotid tonometry was performed for the measurement of central pulse pressure, pulse pressure amplification, and aortic stiffness (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity). Patients underwent an echocardiogram at baseline and at 1 year follow-up and a genetic evaluation. Pathogenetic fibrillin-1 mutations were classified between "dominant negative" and "haploinsufficient." The hemodynamic parameters of patients were compared with those of 80 sex, age, blood pressure, and heart-rate matched controls. Central pulse pressure was significantly higher (38.3±12.3 versus 33.6±7.8 mm Hg; P=0.009), and pulse pressure amplification was significantly reduced in Marfan than controls (17.9±15.3% versus 32.3±17.4%; P<0.0001). Pulse wave velocity was not significantly different between Marfan and controls (4.98±1.00 versus 4.75±0.67 m/s). In the Marfan group, central pulse pressure and pulse pressure amplification were independently associated with aortic diameter at the sinuses of Valsalva (respectively, β=0.371, P=0.010; β=-0.271, P=0.026). No significant difference in hemodynamic parameters was found according to fibrillin-1 genotype. Patients who increased aortic Z-scores at 1-year follow-up presented a higher central pulse pressure than the remaining (42.7±14.2 versus 32.3±5.9 mm Hg; P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS
Central pulse pressure and pulse pressure amplification were impaired in pediatric Marfan syndrome, and associated with aortic root diameters, whereas aortic pulse wave velocity was similar to that of a general pediatric population. An increased central pulse pressure was present among patients whose aortic dilatation worsened at 1-year follow-up.