The Pediatric Connective Tissue and Aortopathy Program diagnoses and treats children and adolescents with the genetic and acquired forms of aortic enlargement, either as an isolated problem or as part of a connective tissue disorder. Since these can be genetic conditions, it's important to have the entire family screened so we work closely with the adult program at Cleveland Clinic to provide efficient family screenings.

What is aortopathy?

Conditions that cause enlargement of the main artery to the body leading to aortic aneurysm.  

What is a connective tissue disorder?

Disorders that affect the tissues that help support organs and other body parts. The tissues can be fat, bone or cartilage. There are many types of connective tissue disorders, however the primary disorders concerning the heart are Marfan’s syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. 

Multidisciplinary approach program

Our team takes a multidisciplinary approach to your child’s care and works with many different specialties within Cleveland Clinic, including:

  • Pediatric Cardiology
  • Pediatric Cardiac Imaging
  • Pediatric Thoracic Surgery
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • Pediatric Orthopedics 
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Genetics

Family-centered approach

We understand the importance of taking a family-centered approach to your child’s care and oversee:

  • Family screenings
  • Medical management
  • Surgical management
  • Sports and lifestyle management and exercise prescription
What We Treat

What We Treat



  • Ken Zahka, MD, Pediatric Cardiology, Pediatric Sports Cardiology 
  • Rukmini Komarlu, MD, Cardiovascular Imaging
  • Hani Najm, MD, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Malek Yaman, MD, Cardiovascular Imaging
  • Diane Clements, MS, CGC, Cardiovascular Genetics Counselor 
  • Christina Rigelsky, MS, CGC, Cardiovascular Genetics Counselor 


Call: 216.445.6532


Outside the US?

Contact the Cleveland Clinic International Center at 216.444.6404 or icwebmail@ccf.org.