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October 1947

MARFAN'S SYNDROME IN THE ADULTDissecting Aneurysm of the Aorta Associated with Arachnodactyly

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine and Pathology, University of Chicago Clinics.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1947;80(4):475-490. doi:10.1001/archinte.1947.00220160054005

ARACHNODACTYLY (Marfan's syndrome) is a relatively rare familial symptom complex which is familiar to ophthalmologists, pediatricians and, to a lesser extent, orthopedic surgeons. It should be of interest to all physicians. We wish to summarize its important characteristics and emphasize the aortic lesions which may be associated with it.

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE  Although entitled dolichostenomelie by Marfan,1 Archard2 in 1902 emphasized the most characteristic feature of the syndrome, calling it arachnodactyly (spider fingers). In 1926 Piper and Irving-Jones,3 the first American physicians to record the condition, noted the frequency with which it is associated with congenital malformations of the heart. Futcher and Southworth4 in 1938 pointed out rheumatic endocarditis and pulmonary disorders as common medical complications. In 1943 Baer, Taussig and Oppenheimer5 reported 2 cases in which aneurysmal dilatation of the aorta was found at autopsy. The same year Etter and Glover6

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