Research Studies Looking for Participants | The Marfan Foundation

Research Studies Looking for Participants

Evaluation of an Imaging Biomarker in Children and Young Adults with Aortopathy

Researchers at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine are doing a study entitled “Evaluation of an Imaging Biomarker in Children and Young Adults.” These investigators will measure and observe an imaging biomarker overtime which may help predict risk of dilation and changes in the aorta.

You can participate in the study if you:

  • Have Marfan Syndrome, Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection, Shprintzen-Goldberg syndrome, bicuspid aortic valve, coarctation of the aorta, or other thoracic aortic dilation or dissection not related to trauma
  • Have undergone at least 1 either MRA or CTA that is available for review, AND that study was performed younger than age 50 years

Participation involves:

  • About 2-3 hours of study procedures at Texas Children’s Hospital.
  • A blood test (taking around 1 tablespoon of blood)
  • An EndoPAT Test (a blood pressure cuff will be inflated on your arm for 5 minutes and then released to measure how well the lining of your blood vessels widen and narrow)
  • A Tonometry (measures pulse at your neck and groin to see how long it takes to travel from your heart to the leg)
  • A consult to confirm your eligibility
  • An echocardiogram of your heart and blood vessels
  • Follow-up visits every two years to complete a 10-year follow-up period
  • Alternatively, patients can enroll without the study visit and just have medical records review


  • Your participation may help improve evidence based clinical guidelines for the management of different aortopathies.
  • $13 compensation for parking for those who participate in person will be included in your participation.

To learn more, contact Shelley Andreas,, or 832-826-2064

Pregnancy in Connective Tissue Disorders Study

What: Dr. Melissa Russo, Dr. Jennifer Pardo Habashi, and their team at Johns Hopkins University are interested in obtaining more information on pregnancy outcomes in women with connective tissue disorders, including Marfan syndrome and Loeys-Dietz syndrome. Their project, entitled “Pregnancy in Connective Tissue Disorders,” features a questionnaire about pregnancy outcomes in women with these syndromes and their cardiovascular (heart-related) complications.

Who: Women with Marfan syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, or vascular Ehelers Danlos syndrome (vEDS) who have had pregnancies, as well as family members of women with Marfan syndrome, Loeys-Dietz, or vascular Ehlers Danlos syndrome (vEDS) who may have passed away during or post-pregnancy. It’s important to have information from women and family members with a range of experiences, from successful to complicated pregnancies.

The questionnaire: The questions ask how you got your diagnosis of a connective tissue disorder, your medications and imaging, and the management of the pregnancy in relation to your connective tissue disorder. The survey will take between 20-60 minutes depending on the number of pregnancies. It may be appropriate to have your medical history available while filling out the survey since you cannot save the survey for completion at another time.

Why: Your participation will help us learn about pregnancy in women with these syndromes, an area in which there is still very little information in the medical literature.

How: Here is the link to complete the “Pregnancy in Connective Tissue Disorders” Questionnaire: By completing and submitting the questionnaire, you are consenting to participating in the study. Additionally, if you are not a patient at Johns Hopkins, we will request that you provide the research team with copies of your medical records that verify your diagnosis and summary of medical care if you had a cardiovascular or obstetrical complication during a pregnancy. If you have questions and want to talk with a study team member prior to filling out the survey, please email (

Thank you for your consideration and support in trying to make further inroads into the understanding of connective tissue disorders. JHM eIRB Study Number: NA_00086443

Research on Post-Operative Outcomes of ACL Reconstruction

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital is currently investigating post-operative outcomes of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in people with Marfan syndrome. More specifically, we are interested in studying rates of ACL re-rupture, results of laxity testing, lengths of rehabilitation times, and past/current functional status.

Very little attention has been given to this type of surgery and its outcomes in people with Marfan syndrome. As ACL repair is a relatively common procedure, this study will help inform our treatment approach for this injury and the practices that best lead to successful rehabilitation and mobility following surgery. If you have suffered an ACL injury requiring surgery once or multiple times, please consider being part of this study.

Participant Eligibility:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Undergone at least one ACL repair, regardless of date of surgery or type of reconstruction

This study will require participants to either send us relevant medical and surgical records or allow us to retrieve them from the healthcare institution, as well as complete two online questionnaires that collectively take less than 25 minutes to complete.

To obtain more information about this clinical study or to enroll, please contact Brian Sullivan at

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection Study

Doctors and scientists have only identified about 25 percent of the genes that cause aortic aneurysms and acute aortic dissections that are inherited in families. Studies are now looking at the role of genetics in patients who have had an aortic dissection, with or without a family history.

Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD, Director of the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, is an internationally recognized expert in the genetics of aortic and vascular diseases. She is working with a team of clinicians, scientists, and genetic counselors in a number of ongoing research studies. These research studies aim to learn more about the genes that predispose people to thoracic aortic aneurysms and acute aortic dissections. Further identification of the genes that cause people to have these conditions will increase our ability to identify who is at risk and provide information on how to better diagnose and manage aortic and vascular diseases.

If you have been diagnosed with a thoracic aortic aneurysm or dissection, or have a family member with this condition, and no one in your family has been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, please consider taking part in this research study.

To learn more about the research and how to enroll, please contact the genetic counselor involved in the study at The genetic counselor will explain the study to you, review your family history, and help you enroll in the research study for which you qualify.