Anophthalmia or microphthalmia occur in approximately one in 10 children who have severe visual impairment. These eye malformations are often of unknown aetiology, but can be inherited in autosomal dominant, recessive or X-linked forms, and can also occur in association with specific chromosome abnormalities. Four children are described in the medical literature with microphthalmia or anophthalmia in association with chromosome rearrangements involving distal 3q, suggesting the presence of a micro/anophthalmia gene in this region. We have identified two further patients with micro/anophthalmia and chromosome rearrangements involving 3q26-->3q27 and identified a 6.7 MB common deleted region. Patient 1 had multiple abnormalities including bilateral anophthalmia, abnormalities of the first and second cranial nerves and partial absence of the corpus callosum. His karyotype was 46,XY,del(3)(q26.33q28). Patient 2 had right anophthalmia and left extreme microphthalmia. Her karyotype was 46,XX,del(3)(q26.33q28)t(3;7)(q28;q21.1). Both patients had intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and strikingly similar dysmorphic facies consisting of bossed forehead, downward-slanting palpebral fissures, grooved bridge of the nose, prominent low-set ears, small down-turned mouth and small mandible. We identified BAC clones mapping to distal 3q from the ENSEMBL and NCBI Entrez databases. These BAC clones were used as fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) probes to identify the minimum deleted region common to both patients. This interval, between clones RPC11-134F2 and RPC11-132N15, was estimated to be 6.7 MB. We conclude that there is an anophthalmia locus within this interval. Candidate genes mapping to this region include Chordin and DVL3, a homologue of the Drosophila Dishevelled gene.