The aorta is the body’s main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. For patients with Marfan syndrome, the aorta can become damaged and weakened, causing it to become wider (aneurysm) or torn (dissection).
Connective tissue provides support to many structures within the body, such as the heart valves, blood vessels (the aorta), eyes, bones, nervous system and lungs. Because of this, patients with connective tissue disorders need a multidisciplinary approach to their care.
The mission of the Cardiovascular Marfan & Connective Tissue Clinic is to bring together a knowledgeable and experienced multidisciplinary team of cardiology and vascular doctors and surgeons and other experts to provide:
- A thorough evaluation of patients using state-of-the art diagnostic testing
- Ongoing comprehensive care for patients with disease of the aorta, connective tissue disorder and Marfan syndrome
- Genetic screening for families of patients with genetic disorders
- Ongoing research and education to provide patients with high quality and innovative therapies
What We Treat
The Cardiovascular Marfan Syndrome & Connective Tissue Clinic is made up of a multidisciplinary group of specialists in cardiology, cardiac surgery, vascular medicine, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic anesthesia, cardiovascular imaging, genetics, ophthalmology, and orthopaedic surgery. These clinicians provide expertise in genetic and diagnostic testing, medical management and surgical and endovascular procedures, and are dedicated to providing care to patients with all types of aortic disease.
- Marfan syndrome
- Connective tissue disorders affecting the aorta, such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, bicuspid aortic valve disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, polycystic kidney disease, and Turner syndrome
- Inflammatory and/or autoimmune diseases of the aorta such as aortitis
Surgical procedures include
Our Medical Team
- Vidyasagar Kalahasti, MD – Director, Cardiovascular Marfan Syndrome & Connective Tissue Clinic, Cardiologist, Section of Cardiovascular Imaging
Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Tomsich Family Department of Cardiovascular Medicine
Section of Cardiovascular Imaging
- Milind Desai, MD
- Brian Griffin, MD
- Richard Grimm, DO
- Christine Jellis, MD, PhD
- Vidyasagar Kalahasti, MD
- Zoran Popovic, MD, PhD
- Leonardo Rodriguez, MD
- Maran Thamilarasan, MD
Section of Clinical Cardiology
Cardiovascular Clinical Genetics
- Diane Clements, MS, LGC
- Brittany Psensky, MS, LGC
- Christina Rigelsky, MS, LGC
Learn more about Cardiovascular Clinical Genetics.
To make an appointment, please call toll-free 800.659.7822 Cardiology Appointments or Request an Appointment online.
What to Expect
Whether you are coming to Cleveland Clinic from around the corner or around the world, we want you to know what to expect before, during and after your visit. If you have any questions while reviewing this information, please contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Patients with Marfan syndrome or connective tissue disorders need a comprehensive treatment plan to care for their health into the future.
To start your care, contact the Heart & Vascular Institute Resource and Information Center. Our nurses will get more information about you and your condition.
The next step is to send us medical records to help us begin planning your care. We will let you know which information you need to send. Send all records in the same package (clearly marked with your name and address) via Airborne Express, Federal Express, or certified US mail (make sure you have a tracking number). The address is:
Cardiovascular Marfan & Connective Tissue Clinic
C/O Dr. Kalahasti
9500 Euclid Avenue – Desk J1-5
Cleveland, OH 44195
The nurse practice manager will gather your information and review it with the medical team. They will contact you, then schedule your appointments required for an evaluation. Based on your condition and history you may be scheduled for echocardiogram, pulmonary function test, CT angiography, MRI, electrocardiogram or other studies.
You will meet with a cardiologist and genetics specialist. Other specialists that may be included are ophthalmologist, orthopedic specialist, rheumatologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon.
Your team will let you know how often you need to have follow-up appointments. The need for follow-up is based on your evaluation and treatment plan. Your follow-up care may be able to be done over the phone.
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