anterior segment dysgenesis

Cataracts, Congenital with Corneal Opacity and Glaucoma

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

The ocular features are evident at birth or within the first year of life and may be asymmetrical.  The phenotype is heterogeneous but does not appear to be progressive.  The anterior chambers are of normal depth and the fundi are normal when visualization is possible.  The corneal opacification is usually denser peripherally and resembles corneoscleralization but it can extend centrally to a variable degree.  In individuals with glaucoma and buphthalmos the cornea is more opaque and usually vascularized. In such eyes the cornea is thinned.  In most patients the corneal diameters were 5-8 mm in diameter but in those with elevated pressures the anterior segment was obviously buphthalmic. Iridocorneal adhesions may be present.  The lenses are cataractous but the capsules are normal.  No microphthalmia has been documented.  Vision is often in the range of hand motions.    

Systemic Features

None.

Genetics

Homozygous mutations in PXDN (2p25.3) encoding peroxidasin are believed responsible for this autosomal recessive condition.  Mammalian peroxidasin localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum but is also found in the extracellular matrix and is believed important to the maintainence of basement membrane integrity.  The protein is one of several that aids in the extracellular breakdown of hydrogen peroxide and free radicals.  In mouse eyes it localizes to the corneal and lens epithelium but its role in maintaining transparency of the lens and cornea is unknown.

Treatment Options

No information regarding treatment is available but cataract and corneal surgery may be beneficial.   

References

Khan K, Rudkin A, Parry DA, Burdon KP, McKibbin M, Logan CV, Abdelhamed ZI, Muecke JS, Fernandez-Fuentes N, Laurie KJ, Shires M, Fogarty R, Carr IM, Poulter JA, Morgan JE, Mohamed MD, Jafri H, Raashid Y, Meng N, Piseth H, Toomes C, Casson RJ, Taylor GR, Hammerton M, Sheridan E, Johnson CA, Inglehearn CF, Craig JE, Ali M. Homozygous mutations in PXDN cause congenital cataract, corneal opacity, and developmental glaucoma. Am J Hum Genet. 2011 Sep 9;89(3):464-73.

PubMed ID: 
21907015

Oculoauricular Syndrome

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

This rare malformation syndrome affects primarily the eyes and ears.  The globes are small and usually have colobomas of both anterior and posterior segments.  The corneas likewise are small and often have opacities.  The anterior segment is dysplastic with anterior and/or posterior synechiae.  Glaucoma may be present.  The lenses may be small and often become cataractous.  There is a progressive rod-cone dystrophy associated with a pigmentary retinopathy.  Chorioretinal lacunae have been seen in the equatorial region.  The retinal degeneration is progressive, beginning with rod dysfunction but followed by deterioration of all receptors.  The onset in early childhood results in poor vision and nystagmus. 

Systemic Features

The external ears are abnormal.  The earlobes may have colobomas or may be aplastic.  The intertragic notch is often underdeveloped.  Audiograms and vestibular function tests, however, show normal function and MRI of the middle and inner ears likewise reveals no anatomic abnormalities.       

Among the few patients reported, dental anomalies, spina bifida oculta, and mild dyscrania have been noted in individual patients.

Genetics

The disorder so far has only been reported in Switzerland in a single family.  Based on parental consanguinity and homozygosity of a 26-bp deletion in the HMX1 gene (4p16.1) in affected sibs, this is a presumed autosomal recessive disorder.  The parents are heterozygous for the deletion.

HMX1 is a homeobox gene and the deletion abolishes its function by establishing a stop codon at position 112.

Treatment Options

No treatment is available for the extraocular malformations.  Glaucoma treatment and cataract surgery should be considered although permanent visual rehabilitation is unlikely given the progressive nature of the rod-cone dystrophy.

References

Vaclavik V, Schorderet DF, Borruat FX, Munier FL. Retinal Dystrophy In The Oculo-auricular Syndrome Due to HMX1 Mutation. Ophthalmic Genet. 2011 Jun;32(2):114-7.

PubMed ID: 
21417677

Schorderet DF, Nichini O, Boisset G, Polok B, Tiab L, Mayeur H, Raji B, de la Houssaye G, Abitbol MM, Munier FL. Mutation in the human homeobox gene NKX5-3 causes an oculo-auricular syndrome. Am J Hum Genet. 2008 May;82(5):1178-84.

PubMed ID: 
18423520

Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome, Type 2

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

As in RIEG1 and RIEG3, glaucoma is the most serious ocular problem.  In a large family with 11 affected members, 9 had glaucoma.  All had the classic ocular signs of anterior segment dysgenesis, primarily posterior embryotoxon and iris adhesions (for a full description of the ocular features see Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome, RIEG1 [180500]).

Systemic Features

Oligodontia, microdontia, and premature loss of teeth are common in type 2.  Maxillary hypoplasia is less common as is hearing loss.  Umbilical anomalies were not present in any affected individuals.  Cardiac defects are rare.

Genetics

This is an autosomal dominant disorder as in the other types.  The locus is at 13q14 but no molecular defect has been defined.  At least two individuals purported to have type 2 were found to have deletions of this segment of chromosome 13 but at least one had an umbilical defect.

Treatment Options

The high risk of glaucoma demands lifelong monitoring of intraocular pressure.

References

Phillips JC, del Bono EA, Haines JL, Pralea AM, Cohen JS, Greff LJ, Wiggs JL. A second locus for Rieger syndrome maps to chromosome 13q14. Am J Hum Genet. 1996 Sep;59(3):613-9.

PubMed ID: 
8751862

Stathacopoulos RA, Bateman JB, Sparkes RS, Hepler RS. The Rieger syndrome and a chromosome 13 deletion. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 1987 Jul-Aug;24(4):198-203.

PubMed ID: 
3117999

Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome, Type 3

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

The most important ocular feature is glaucoma, found in greater than 50% of patients.  It is frequently difficult to control and blindness is far too common.  The ocular phenotype has many similar features found in type 1 (RIEG1) but is discussed separately in this database since it is caused by a different mutation (see Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome, type 1 for a full description of the phenotype).  It has the typical findings of anterior segment dysgenesis including anterior displacement of Schwalbe’s line, iris stromal hypoplasia, correctopia, and, of course, glaucoma.

Systemic Features

Patients with this type of Axenfeld-Rieger disorder are less likely to have the systemic anomalies such as craniofacial and dental defects often seen in RIEG1.  However, they often have a sensorineural hearing impairment and many have cardiac valvular and septal defects not usually seen in RIEG1.

Genetics

This is an autosomal dominant disorder resulting from a mutation in the FOXC1 gene located at 6p25.  Mutations in the same gene also cause iris hypoplasia/iridogoniodysgenesis (IGDA) (IRID1) 601631) which is sometimes reported as a unique disorder but is either allelic or the same disorder as the type of Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome discussed here.

Type 1 Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome (180500) results from mutations in PITX1 mutations.  However, digenic cases have also been reported with mutations in both PITX1 and FOXC1 genes.

The mutation responsible for type 2 Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome (601499) has as yet not been identified.  Diagnosis is best made by ruling out mutations in PITX1 and FOXC1 although it is claimed that maxillary hypoplasia and umbilical defects are less common in type 2.

Treatment Options

All patients with Axenfeld-Rieger syndromes must be monitored and treated for glaucoma throughout their lives.

References

Weisschuh N. Digenic inheritance in axenfeld rieger syndrome. Hum Mutat. 2011 Oct;32(10):iv. doi: 10.1002/humu.21593.

PubMed ID: 
21932364

Alward WL. Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome in the age of molecular genetics. Am J
Ophthalmol. 2000 Jul;130(1):107-15. Review.

PubMed ID: 
11004268

Tümer Z, Bach-Holm D. Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome and spectrum of PITX2 and FOXC1 mutations. Eur J Hum Genet. 2009 Dec;17(12):1527-39.

PubMed ID: 
19513095

Aniridia

Clinical Characteristics

Ocular Features

Aniridia is both the name of a disease and a group of disorders.  This because aniridia is both an isolated ocular disease and a feature of several malformation syndromes.  Absence of the iris was first reported in the early 19th century.  The hallmark of the disease is bilateral iris hypoplasia which may consist of minimal loss of iris tissue with simple radial clefts, colobomas, pseudopolycoria, and correctopia, to nearly complete absence.  Goniosocopy may be required to visualize tags of iris root when no iris is visible externally.  Glaucoma is frequently present (~67%) and often difficult to treat.  It is responsible for blindness in a significant number of patients.  About 15% of patients are diagnosed with glaucoma in each decade of life but this rises to 35% among individuals 40-49 years of age.  Hypoplasia and dysplasia of the fovea are likely responsible for the poor vision in many individuals.  Nystagmus is frequently present.  The ciliary body may also be hypoplastic. 

Visual acuity varies widely.  In many families it is less than 20/60 in all members and the majority have less than 20/200.  Photophobia can be incapacitating.  Posterior segment OCT changes suggest that outer retinal damage suggestive of a phototoxic retinopathy may also be a factor in the reduced acuity.  Cataracts (congenital in >75%), ectopia lentis (bilateral in >26%), optic nerve hypoplasia, variable degrees of corneal clouding with or without a vascularized pannus, and dysgenesis of the anterior chamber angle are frequently present. 

Increased corneal thickness (>600 microns) has been found in some series and should be considered when IOP measurements are made.  In early stages of the disease, focal opacities are present in the basal epithelium, associated with sub-basal nerves.  Dendritic cells can infiltrate the central epithelium and normal limbal palisade architecture is absent.  The tear film is often unstable.

Attempts have been made to divide aniridia into several types based upon the type and degree of ocular abnormalities but modern genotyping allows more specific determination of classification, especially when systemic features are also considered.

Systemic Features

In addition to ‘pure’ aniridia in which no systemic features are found, at least six disorders have been reported in which systemic anomalies do occur.  Three of these have associated renal anomalies, including Wilms tumor with other genitourinary anomalies and mental retardation, sometimes called WAGR (194072) syndrome, another (612469) with similar features plus obesity sometime called WAGRO (612469) syndrome reported in isolated patients, and yet another with partial aniridia (206750) and unilateral renal agenesis and psychomotor retardation reported in a single family.  Aniridia with dysplastic or absent patella (106220) has been reported in a single three generation family.  Cerebellar ataxia and mental retardation with motor deficits (Gillespie syndrome; 206700) has been found in other families.  Another 3 generation family has been reported in which aniridia, microcornea and spontaneously resorbed cataracts occured (106230).

About one-third of patients with aniridia also have Wilms tumor and many have some cognitive deficits..

Genetics

The majority of cases have a mutation in the paired box gene (PAX6) complex, or at least include this locus when chromosomal aberrations such as deletions are present in the region (11p13).  This complex (containing at least 9 genes) is multifunctional and important to the tissue regulation of numerous developmental genes.   PAX6 mutations, encoding a highly conserved transcription regulator, generally cause hypoplasia of the iris and foveal hypoplasia but are also important in CNS development.  It has been suggested that the PAX6 gene may be the only gene defect associated with aniridia.  More than 300 specific mutations, most causing premature truncation of the polypeptide, have been identified.  Associated abnormalities may be due to a second mutation in the WT1 gene in WAGR (194072) syndrome, a deletion syndrome involving both WT1 and PAX6 genes at 11p13.  The WAGRO syndrome (612469) is caused by a contiguous deletion in chromosome 11 (11p12-p13) involving three genes: WT1, PAX6, and BDNF.  All types are likely inherited as autosomal dominant disorders although nearly one-third of cases occur sporadically.

Mutations in PAX6 associated with aniridia can cause other anterior chamber malformations such as Peters anomaly (604229).

Gillespie syndrome (206700 ) is an allelic disorder with neurological abnormalities.

Treatment Options

Treatment is directed at the associated threats to vision such as glaucoma, corneal opacities, and cataracts.  Glaucoma is the most serious threat to vision and difficult to treat although good results have been reported with glaucoma drainage devices.  All patients should have eye examinations at appropriate intervals throughout life, focused on glaucoma screening.  It is well to keep in mind that foveal maldevelopment often precludes significant improvement in acuity and heroic measures must be carefully evaluated.  Specifically, corneal transplants frequently fail.

Low vision aids are often helpful.  Tinted lenses can minimize photophobia.  Occupational and vocational training should be considered for older individuals.

Young children with aniridia should have periodic examinations with renal imaging as recommended by a urologist.

In mice, postnatal topical ocular application of ataluren-based eyedrop formulations can reverse malformations caused by PAX6 mutations.

References

Gregory-Evans CY, Wang X, Wasan KM, Zhao J, Metcalfe AL, Gregory-Evans K. Postnatal manipulation of Pax6 dosage reverses congenital tissue malformation defects. J Clin Invest. 2014 Jan 2;124. Epub 2013 Dec 20.

PubMed ID: 
24355924

Edén U, Fagerholm P, Danyali R, Lagali N. Pathologic Epithelial and Anterior Corneal Nerve Morphology in Early-Stage Congenital Aniridic Keratopathy. Ophthalmology. 2012 Apr 17. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 
22512983

Gramer E, Reiter C, Gramer G. Glaucoma and frequency of ocular and general diseases in 30 patients with aniridia: a clinical study. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jan;22(1):104-10. doi: 10.5301/EJO.2011.8318.

PubMed ID: 
22167549

Gregory-Evans K, Cheong-Leen R, George SM, Xie J, Moosajee M, Colapinto P, Gregory-Evans CY. Non-invasive anterior segment and posterior segment optical coherence tomography and phenotypic characterization of aniridia. Can J Ophthalmol. 2011 Aug;46(4):337-44. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

PubMed ID: 
21816254

Sawada M, Sato M, Hikoya A, Wang C, Minoshima S, Azuma N, Hotta Y. A case of aniridia with unilateral Peters anomaly. J AAPOS. 2011 Feb;15(1):104-6.

PubMed ID: 
213997818

Kokotas H, Petersen MB. Clinical and molecular aspects of aniridia. Clin Genet. 2010 May;77(5):409-20.

PubMed ID: 
20132240

Robinson DO, Howarth RJ, Williamson KA, van Heyningen V, Beal SJ, Crolla JA. Genetic analysis of chromosome 11p13 and the PAX6 gene in a series of 125 cases referred with aniridia. Am J Med Genet A. 2008 Mar 1;146A(5):558-69.

PubMed ID: 
18241071

Elsas FJ, Maumenee IH, Kenyon KR, Yoder F. Familial aniridia with preserved ocular function. Am J Ophthalmol. 1977 May;83(5):718-24.

PubMed ID: 
868970