According to the Marfan Foundation, Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the connective tissue that holds together all of the body's cells, organs and tissue. It also plays an important role in helping the body grow and develop properly. Because connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan syndrome can affect many different parts of the body.
Features of the disorder are most often found in the heart, blood vessels, bones, joints, and eyes. Some Marfan features -- for example, aortic enlargement (expansion of the main blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body) -- can be life-threatening. The lungs, skin and nervous system may also be affected. Marfan syndrome does not affect intelligence.