Beta-blockers have been the standard treatment for people with Marfan’s syndrome, a rare inherited connective tissue disorder that affects about 1 in 5000 people. The goal of treatment is to prevent or slow down the dilation of the aorta and avoid aortic dissection, the main cause of death. In recent years, studies have raised the hope that losartan, an angiotensin receptor blocker, might be more effective than beta-blockers in slowing aortic enlargement.
The Pediatric Heart Network Investigators randomized 608 children and young adults with Marfan’s syndrome to the beta-blocker atenolol or losartan. After 3 years of follow-up, they reported no significant difference between the two groups in a measurement of aortic-root growth. There were also no di...
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