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Usher syndrome, type 3A(USH3A)

MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Synonyms: USH3A; Usher Syndrome, Type III; USHER SYNDROME, TYPE IIIA
Modes of inheritance:
Autosomal recessive inheritance
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Intellectual Product
Sources: HPO, OMIM, 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 homozygotes. In the context of medical genetics, autosomal recessive disorders manifest in homozygotes (with two copies of the mutant allele) or compound heterozygotes (whereby each copy of a gene has a distinct mutant allele).
Autosomal recessive inheritance (HPO, OMIM, Orphanet)
Gene (location): CLRN1 (3q25.1)
OMIM®: 276902
Orphanet: ORPHA231183


Usher syndrome type III is characterized by postlingual, progressive hearing loss, variable vestibular dysfunction, and onset of retinitis pigmentosa symptoms, including nyctalopia, constriction of the visual fields, and loss of central visual acuity, usually by the second decade of life (Karjalainen et al., 1985; Pakarinen et al., 1995). For a discussion of phenotypic heterogeneity of Usher syndrome, see USH1 (276900). Genetic Heterogeneity of Usher syndrome Type III Usher syndrome type IIIB (614504) is caused by mutation in the HARS gene (142810) on chromosome 5q31.3. [from OMIM]

Additional description

From GHR
Usher syndrome is a condition characterized by partial or total hearing loss and vision loss that worsens over time. The hearing loss is classified as sensorineural, which means that it is caused by abnormalities of the inner ear. The loss of vision is caused by an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which affects the layer of light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (the retina). Vision loss occurs as the light-sensing cells of the retina gradually deteriorate. Night vision loss begins first, followed by blind spots that develop in the side (peripheral) vision. Over time, these blind spots enlarge and merge to produce tunnel vision. In some cases, vision is further impaired by clouding of the lens of the eye (cataracts). However, many people with retinitis pigmentosa retain some central vision throughout their lives.Researchers have identified three major types of Usher syndrome, designated as types I, II, and III. These types are distinguished by the severity of hearing loss, the presence or absence of balance problems, and the age at which signs and symptoms appear. The types are further divided into subtypes based on their genetic cause.Most individuals with Usher syndrome type I are born with severe to profound hearing loss. Progressive vision loss caused by retinitis pigmentosa becomes apparent in childhood. This type of Usher syndrome also causes abnormalities of the vestibular system, which is the part of the inner ear that helps maintain the body's balance and orientation in space. As a result of the vestibular abnormalities, children with the condition have trouble with balance. They begin sitting independently and walking later than usual, and they may have difficulty riding a bicycle and playing certain sports.Usher syndrome type II is characterized by hearing loss from birth and progressive vision loss that begins in adolescence or adulthood. The hearing loss associated with this form of Usher syndrome ranges from mild to severe and mainly affects the ability to hear high-frequency sounds. For example, it is difficult for affected individuals to hear high, soft speech sounds, such as those of the letters d and t. The degree of hearing loss varies within and among families with this condition, and it may become more severe over time. Unlike the other forms of Usher syndrome, type II is not associated with vestibular abnormalities that cause difficulties with balance.People with Usher syndrome type III experience hearing loss and vision loss beginning somewhat later in life. Unlike the other forms of Usher syndrome, type III is usually associated with normal hearing at birth. Hearing loss typically begins during late childhood or adolescence, after the development of speech, and becomes more severe over time. By middle age, most affected individuals have profound hearing loss. Vision loss caused by retinitis pigmentosa also develops in late childhood or adolescence. Some people with Usher syndrome type III develop vestibular abnormalities that cause problems with balance.

Clinical features

MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Retinitis pigmentosa
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Disease or Syndrome
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) refers to a heterogeneous group of inherited ocular diseases that result in a progressive retinal degeneration affecting 1 in 3,000 to 5,000 people (Veltel et al., 2008). Symptoms include night blindness, the development of tunnel vision, and slowly progressive decreased central vision starting at approximately 20 years of age. Upon examination, patients have decreased visual acuity, constricted visual fields, dyschromatopsia (tritanopic; see 190900), and the classic fundus appearance with dark pigmentary clumps in the midperiphery and perivenous areas ('bone spicules'), attenuated retinal vessels, cystoid macular edema, fine pigmented vitreous cells, and waxy optic disc pallor. RP is associated with posterior subcapsular cataracts in 39 to 72% of patients, high myopia, astigmatism, keratoconus, and mild hearing loss in 30% of patients (excluding patients with Usher syndrome; see 276900). Fifty percent of female carriers of X-linked RP have a golden reflex in the posterior pole (summary by Kaiser et al., 2004). Juvenile Retinitis Pigmentosa Autosomal recessive childhood-onset severe retinal dystrophy is a heterogeneous group of disorders affecting rod and cone photoreceptors simultaneously. The most severe cases are termed Leber congenital amaurosis (see 204000), whereas the less aggressive forms are usually considered juvenile retinitis pigmentosa (Gu et al., 1997). Autosomal recessive forms of juvenile retinitis pigmentosa can be caused by mutation in the SPATA7 (609868), LRAT (604863), and TULP1 (602280) genes (see LCA3, 604232, LCA14, 613341, and LCA15, 613843, respectively). An autosomal dominant form of juvenile retinitis pigmentosa (see 604393) is caused by mutation in the AIPL1 gene (604392).
Reduced visual acuity
MedGen UID:
Concept ID:
Visual impairment (or vision impairment) is vision loss (of a person) to such a degree as to qualify as an additional support need through a significant limitation of visual capability resulting from either disease, trauma, or congenital or degenerative conditions that cannot be corrected by conventional means, such as refractive correction, medication, or surgery.

Term Hierarchy

CClinical test,  RResearch test,  OOMIM,  GGeneReviews,  VClinVar  
Follow this link to review classifications for Usher syndrome, type 3A in Orphanet.

Professional guidelines


Bolz HJ, Roux AF
Eur J Hum Genet 2011 Aug;19(8) Epub 2011 Mar 9 doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2011.15. PMID: 21697857Free PMC Article

Recent clinical studies


Malm E, Ponjavic V, Möller C, Kimberling WJ, Stone ES, Andréasson S
Eur J Ophthalmol 2011 Jan-Feb;21(1):30-8. PMID: 20544672


Malm E, Ponjavic V, Möller C, Kimberling WJ, Stone ES, Andréasson S
Eur J Ophthalmol 2011 Jan-Feb;21(1):30-8. PMID: 20544672

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