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Glaucoma of childhood

MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Synonyms: Childhood glaucoma; Developmental glaucoma; Infantile glaucoma; Juvenile open angle glaucoma; Pediatric glaucoma
SNOMED CT: Glaucoma of childhood (71111008); Infantile glaucoma (71111008); Juvenile glaucoma (71111008); Developmental glaucoma (71111008)
Modes of inheritance:
Autosomal dominant inheritance
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Intellectual Product
Source: Orphanet
A mode of inheritance that is observed for traits related to a gene encoded on one of the autosomes (i.e., the human chromosomes 1-22) in which a trait manifests in heterozygotes. In the context of medical genetics, an autosomal dominant disorder is caused when a single copy of the mutant allele is present. Males and females are affected equally, and can both transmit the disorder with a risk of 50% for each child of inheriting the mutant allele.
HPO: HP:0001087
Monarch Initiative: MONDO:0020367
Orphanet: ORPHA98977


Structural abnormalities that impede fluid drainage in the eye increase ocular pressure. These abnormalities may be present at birth and usually become apparent during the first year of life. Such structural abnormalities may be part of a genetic disorder that affects many body systems, called a syndrome. If glaucoma appears before the age of 3 without other associated abnormalities, it is called primary congenital glaucoma.

Usually glaucoma develops in older adults, in whom the risk of developing the disorder may be affected by a variety of medical conditions including high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes mellitus, as well as family history. The risk of early-onset glaucoma depends mainly on heredity.

In most people with glaucoma, the damage to the optic nerves is caused by increased pressure within the eyes (intraocular pressure). Intraocular pressure depends on a balance between fluid entering and leaving the eyes.

Other individuals experience early onset of primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common adult form of glaucoma. If primary open-angle glaucoma develops during childhood or early adulthood, it is called juvenile open-angle glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders in which the optic nerves connecting the eyes and the brain are progressively damaged. This damage can lead to reduction in side (peripheral) vision and eventual blindness. Other signs and symptoms may include bulging eyes, excessive tearing, and abnormal sensitivity to light (photophobia). The term "early-onset glaucoma" may be used when the disorder appears before the age of 40. [from MedlinePlus Genetics]

Conditions with this feature

Islet cell adenomatosis
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Neoplastic Process
Insulinomatosis and diabetes mellitus syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder in which affected individuals within a family present with either hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia secondary to pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, or a noninsulin-dependent form of diabetes mellitus. A few affected individuals show only impaired glucose tolerance. Some patients also exhibit congenital cataract and/or congenital glaucoma (Iacovazzo et al., 2018).
Frank-Ter Haar syndrome
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
The primary characteristics of the Frank-ter Haar syndrome (FTHS) are brachycephaly, wide fontanels, prominent forehead, hypertelorism, prominent eyes, macrocornea with or without glaucoma, full cheeks, small chin, bowing of the long bones, and flexion deformity of the fingers. Protruding, simple ears and prominent coccyx are also regarded as important diagnostic signs (summary by Maas et al., 2004). Borrone syndrome was described as a severe progressive multisystem disorder with features overlapping those of FTHS, including thick skin, acne conglobata, osteolysis, gingival hypertrophy, brachydactyly, camptodactyly, and mitral valve prolapse. Although it was initially thought to be a distinct phenotype, mutations in the FTHS-associated gene SH3PXD2B have been identified in patients diagnosed with Borrone syndrome. The earlier differential description was attributed to phenotypic variability as well as to differences in the ages at which patients were examined (Wilson et al., 2014).
Neonatal diabetes mellitus with congenital hypothyroidism
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Neonatal diabetes mellitus with congenital hypothyroidism (NDH) syndrome is characterized by intrauterine growth retardation and onset of nonimmune diabetes mellitus within the first few weeks of life. Other features include renal parenchymal disease, primarily renal cystic dysplasia, and hepatic disease, with hepatitis in some patients and hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis in others. Facial dysmorphism, when present, consistently involves low-set ears, epicanthal folds, flat nasal bridge, long philtrum, and thin upper lip. Most patients exhibit developmental delay (Dimitri et al., 2015).
Aniridia-renal agenesis-psychomotor retardation syndrome
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
An extremely rare syndrome reported in two siblings of non consanguineous parents that is characterized by the association of ocular abnormalities (partial aniridia, congenital glaucoma, telecanthus) with frontal bossing, hypertelorism, unilateral renal agenesis and mild psychomotor delay. There have been no further descriptions in the literature since 1974.
Tetralogy of fallot and glaucoma
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Larsen-like syndrome, B3GAT3 type
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
CHST3-related skeletal dysplasia is characterized by short stature of prenatal onset, joint dislocations (knees, hips, radial heads), clubfeet, and limitation of range of motion that can involve all large joints. Kyphosis and occasionally scoliosis with slight shortening of the trunk develop in childhood. Minor heart valve dysplasia has been described in several persons. Intellect and vision are normal.
PYCR1-related de Barsy syndrome
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
De Barsy syndrome, also known as autosomal recessive cutis laxa type III (ARCL3), is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by an aged appearance with distinctive facial features, sparse hair, ophthalmologic abnormalities, intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), and cutis laxa (summary by Lin et al., 2011). For a phenotypic description and a discussion of genetic heterogeneity of de Barsy syndrome, see 219150. For a phenotypic description and a discussion of genetic heterogeneity of autosomal recessive cutis laxa, see 219200.
Desbuquois dysplasia 1
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Desbuquois dysplasia (DBQD) is an autosomal recessive chondrodysplasia belonging to the multiple dislocation group and characterized by severe prenatal and postnatal growth retardation (stature less than -5 SD), joint laxity, short extremities, and progressive scoliosis. The main radiologic features are short long bones with metaphyseal splay, a 'Swedish key' appearance of the proximal femur (exaggerated trochanter), and advanced carpal and tarsal bone age with a delta phalanx (summary by Huber et al., 2009). Desbuquois dysplasia is clinically and radiographically heterogeneous, and had been classified into 2 types based on the presence (type 1) or absence (type 2) of characteristic hand anomalies, including an extra ossification center distal to the second metacarpal, delta phalanx, bifid distal thumb phalanx, and dislocation of the interphalangeal joints (Faivre et al., 2004). However, patients with and without these additional hand anomalies have been reported to have mutations in the same gene (see, e.g., CANT1); thus, these features are not distinctive criteria to predict the molecular basis of DBQD (Furuichi et al., 2011). In addition, Kim et al. (2010) described another milder variant of DBQD with almost normal outwardly appearing hands, but significant radiographic changes, including short metacarpals, elongated phalanges, and remarkably advanced carpal bone age. However, there is no accessory ossification center distal to the second metacarpal, and patients do not have thumb anomalies. Similar changes occur in the feet. These patients also tend to develop precocious osteoarthritis of the hand and spine with age. This phenotype is sometimes referred to as the 'Kim variant' of DBQD (Furuichi et al., 2011). Genetic Heterogeneity of Desbuquois Dysplasia DBQD2 (615777) is caused by mutation in the XYLT1 gene (608124) on chromosome 16p12. Two unrelated patients with immunodeficiency-23 (IMD23; 615816), due to mutation in the PGM3 gene (172100), were reported to have skeletal features reminiscent of DBQD.
Anterior segment dysgenesis 6
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Anterior segment dysgeneses (ASGD or ASMD) are a heterogeneous group of developmental disorders affecting the anterior segment of the eye, including the cornea, iris, lens, trabecular meshwork, and Schlemm canal. The clinical features of ASGD include iris hypoplasia, an enlarged or reduced corneal diameter, corneal vascularization and opacity, posterior embryotoxon, corectopia, polycoria, an abnormal iridocorneal angle, ectopia lentis, and anterior synechiae between the iris and posterior corneal surface (summary by Cheong et al., 2016). Anterior segment dysgenesis is sometimes divided into subtypes including aniridia (see 106210), Axenfeld and Rieger anomalies, iridogoniodysgenesis, Peters anomaly, and posterior embryotoxon (Gould and John, 2002). Patients with ASGD6 have been reported with the Peters anomaly subtype. Peters anomaly consists of corneal opacity, defects in the posterior structures of the cornea, and iridocorneal and/or keratolenticular adhesions. Over 50% of patients develop glaucoma in childhood (summary by Vincent et al., 2001).

Professional guidelines


Lingham G, Thakur S, Safi S, Gordon I, Evans JR, Keel S
BMJ Open Ophthalmol 2022;7(1):e000933. Epub 2022 Jan 31 doi: 10.1136/bmjophth-2021-000933. PMID: 35136841Free PMC Article
Abdolrahimzadeh S, Fameli V, Mollo R, Contestabile MT, Perdicchi A, Recupero SM
Biomed Res Int 2015;2015:781294. Epub 2015 Sep 16 doi: 10.1155/2015/781294. PMID: 26451378Free PMC Article
Ho CL, Walton DS
Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2004 Oct;15(5):460-4. doi: 10.1097/01.icu.0000134878.48361.50. PMID: 15625911

Recent clinical studies


Kaufman AR, Elhusseiny AM, Edward DP, Vajaranant TS, Aref AA, Abbasian J
Eur J Ophthalmol 2023 Sep;33(5):1969-1976. Epub 2023 Feb 27 doi: 10.1177/11206721231159694. PMID: 36850063
Li X, Mukkamala L, Origlieri CA, Holland BK, Fechtner RD, Khouri AS
J Glaucoma 2016 Oct;25(10):e855-e860. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000471. PMID: 27367136


Li X, Mukkamala L, Origlieri CA, Holland BK, Fechtner RD, Khouri AS
J Glaucoma 2016 Oct;25(10):e855-e860. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000471. PMID: 27367136


Li X, Mukkamala L, Origlieri CA, Holland BK, Fechtner RD, Khouri AS
J Glaucoma 2016 Oct;25(10):e855-e860. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000471. PMID: 27367136

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