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.


This is an autosomal dominant disorder resulting from a mutation in the FOXC1, a transcription factor 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 the PITX1 transcription factor gene and type 4 from mutations in PRDM5, also a transcription factor gene.  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.

Article Title: 

Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome

Seifi M, Walter MA. Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome. Clin Genet. 2017 Oct 3. doi: 10.1111/cge.13148. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

PubMed ID: 


Seifi M, Walter MA. Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome. Clin Genet. 2017 Oct 3. doi: 10.1111/cge.13148. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

PubMedID: 28972279

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

PubMedID: 21932364

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

PubMedID: 11004268

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

PubMedID: 19513095