Aniridia is complete or partial iris hypoplasia. It is associated with foveal hypoplasia and results in nystagmus and reduced visual acuity. These features present in early infancy. Additional ocular abnormalities that may occur later in life include glaucoma, cataract, and corneal opacification and vascularization. Pathogenic variants within the PAX6 gene only cause isolated aniridia without any systemic involvement. Wilms tumor-aniridia-genital anomalies-retardation (WAGR) syndrome is caused by a larger deletion of 11p13 that includes both the PAX6 and WT1 genes. Isolated aniridia is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Haploinsufficiency of the PAX6 gene causes aniridia.
Please note that a chromosomal microarray is the recommended test for detecting the WAGR deletion.
Optic Nerve Malformations
In rare cases, pathogenic variants in the PAX6 gene cause non-aniridia phenotypes that include anterior segment anomalies, congenital cataracts, and foveal hypoplasia. These highly variable ocular phenotypes include Peter’s anomaly, ectopic papillae, and autosomal dominant keratitis.
- OMIM #607108: PAX6 gene
- Azuma et al. (2003), Am J Hum Genet, 72:1565-1570.
- Shukla and Mishra, (2011), Exp Eye Res, 93:40-49.
- Confirmation of a clinical diagnosis of a PAX6-related disorder.
- Carrier testing in adults with a family history of a PAX6-related disorder.
Analytical Sensitivity: ~99%
Type: Whole Blood
Specimen Requirements:In EDTA (purple top) tube:
Infants (<2 years): 2-3 ml
Children (>2 years): 3-5 ml
Older Children & Adults: 5-10 ml
Specimen Collection and Shipping: Store sample at room temperature. Ship sample within 5 days of collection at room temperature with overnight delivery.
Specimen Requirements:OrageneTM Saliva Collection kit (available through EGL) used according to manufacturer instructions.
Specimen Collection and Shipping: Please do not refrigerate or freeze saliva sample. Please store and ship at room temperature.
- Deletion/duplication analysis of the PAX6 gene by CGH array is available for those individuals in whom sequence analysis is negative.
- Several comprehensive next generation sequencing Eye Disorder Panels are available.
- Custom diagnostic mutation analysis (KM) is available to family members if mutations are identified by targeted mutation testing or sequencing analysis.
- Prenatal testing is available only for known familial mutations to individuals who are confirmed carriers of mutations. Please contact the laboratory genetic counselor to discuss appropriate testing prior to collecting a prenatal specimen.