Thursday, February 22, 2007


Specialists convene to diagnose and treat patients with this inherited disorder

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Marfan syndrome is a potentially deadly genetic illness that afflicts hundreds of Chicago area residents, many of whom are unaware that they are affected.

If you are diagnosed with Marfan syndrome or you have symptoms or features that suggest you might be affected, you can improve your prognosis and lengthen your lifespan by getting treatment as soon as possible. The “classic” signs of Marfan syndrome include heart murmur, tall lanky body type, protruding or caved in breastbone, high roof of mouth, curvature of the spine and “loose joints.”

Loyola University Health System’s new multidisciplinary Marfan syndrome clinic trims the time patients have to wait for treatment after being diagnosed with the inherited disorder, which affects the connective tissues of the body.

“Patients will find that all aspects of their care and treatment will be coordinated and completed within the clinic, which saves them time and worry,” said Dr. Peter Varga, director, division of pediatric cardiology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The new clinic features a full range of outpatient services provided by physicians and other health-care professionals at a single location, Loyola Oakbrook Terrace Medical Center, 1S260 Summit Ave., Oakbrook Terrace. The team of Loyola specialists dedicated to the Marfan syndrome clinic includes adult and pediatric cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, ophthalmologists, orthopaedic surgeons and geneticists. These specialists have expertise in managing patients with Marfan syndrome, who may have health problems such as enlargement of the arteries, mitral valve prolapse, curvature of the spine, nearsightedness or skeletal problems.

A nurse coordinates outpatient and inpatient care with the appropriate physicians. Services available for adults and children at the Oakbrook Terrace Medical Center include:

• Genetic analysis to make a diagnosis. • Cardiology to detect and monitor tearing or weakening of the aorta and problems with heart valves. • Cardiovascular surgery to correct problems with the aorta and heart valves. • Ophthalmology to detect, monitor and correct vision problems related to Marfan. • Orthopaedics to monitor changes in the spine, chest and skeletal system that could affect the development of the heart, lungs and other internal organs. • Otolaryngology to detect, monitor and treat Marfan-related disorders of the ear, nose, throat and the head and neck.

The clinic provides evaluation and care monthly. Clinic hours will be expanded over time to accommodate patient demand. If you would like to make an appointment or need assistance to find an appropriate physician, please call (888) LUHS-888.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.