Increased fracture rate in children and adolescents with Marfan syndrome

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Marfan syndrome (MFS) is an autosomal genetic disorder of connective tissue, due to alterated fibrillin-1. The aim of our study was to verify the rate of fractures in children with MFS in correlation to bone mineral density and compare the prevalence to the general population in the same latitude. We enrolled 80 patients (37 girls and 43 boys) with the diagnosis of Marfan syndrome, median age 10 y (3 to 17 years). Fracture occurrence was inferred from medical records of patients with MFS. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured at lumbar spine, femoral neck and total femur by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. BMD values were expressed as z-scores, and adjusted for height using height-for-age z-scores. Bone turnover markers and vitamin D were measured. We assessed incidence of fracture in general pediatric population of our geographic area (45°N latitude). A total of 24 fractures were recorded in 21 patients (15 boys and 6 girls), involving both short and long bones, due to mild or moderate trauma. An incidence estimate has been calculated for each year, and an average incidence of 29.2/1000 MFS patients was obtained, markedly higher (P=0.034) than the incidence of fracture calculated in the same geographical area in pediatric patients (15.8/1000). We did not detect differences in anthropometric measurements, BMD values and biochemical indices between patients who fractured and patients who did not. Similarly, no differences were found between patients on losartan therapy and patients not in treatment for the same variables. In conclusion, the incidence of fractures was higher in patients with MFS compared to general population of the same age and latitude. The management of MFS must account bone status health and start strategies of fracture prevention. © 2020
Original languageEnglish
Article number115333
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bone mineral density
  • Children
  • Fractures
  • Marfan syndrome
  • vitamin D
  • adolescent
  • anthropometry
  • Article
  • biochemistry
  • body height
  • bone density
  • bone turnover
  • child
  • disease severity
  • dual energy X ray absorptiometry
  • female
  • fracture
  • geography
  • human
  • incidence
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • medical record
  • scoring system


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