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Rare hereditary disorder of connective tissue. Affected persons are tall, with long, thin limbs and spiderlike fingers (arachnodactyly). The lens of the eye is dislocated, and many have glaucoma or detached retina. Heart muscle abnormalities and various malfunctions and malformations occur; rupture of the aorta is the most common cause of death. Severity varies; affected individuals may die young or live essentially normal lives. The underlying abnormality cannot be cured, but some of the defects can be surgically corrected.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Marfan syndrome, visit Britannica.com.