According to a story from Medpage Today, a recent study found that the drug Avapro, which is commonly used to treat high blood pressure, could also slow down the dilation of the aorta in patients with Marfan syndrome. This could be an important new treatment for patients with this syndrome, as aortic aneurysm is one of the most dangerous medical complications that can occur as a result of the syndrome.
About Marfan Syndrome
Marfan syndrome is a rare disorder that primarily affects connective tissue. The disorder is associated with mutations that affect the FBN1 gene. In about 75 percent of cases, it is inherited from a parent, and in the remaining 25 it appears as a new, spontaneous mutation. The degree to which an individual is affected can vary. Marfan syndrome causes changes and symptoms throughout the body, such as a slim, tall build, with long arms, legs, feet, and digits; scoliosis, skeletal deformities, dislocation of the optical lens, chest pain, shortness of breath, heartbeat abnormalities, and the weakening of connective tissue. The most dangerous complications are mitral valve prolapse and aortic aneurysm, which can be fatal if the aorta tears. Management includes mild exercise, beta blockers, and surgical intervention to address potential complications. To learn more about Marfan syndrome, click here.
The ability of Avapro to bring down blood pressure helps put less strain on the walls of the aorta, slowing its rate of expansion. The drug was able to reduce the rate of dilation by about 30 percent. The study also found that Avapro was more effective in younger patients. Ultimately, most patients with Marfan syndrome will eventually have to get surgery once the aorta reaches a certain diameter in order to prevent it from eventually rupturing in the future.
A Potential Treatment In The Future
While some researchers are calling for the results to be replicated in a larger study with more patients, the results are still encouraging. Avapro also did not have any harmful interactions with beta blockers, which over half of the participants were already using. Avapro was also tolerated by patients of all ages that were included in the research. To learn more about the study, click here.