Ritscher-Schinzel (3C) syndrome: documentation of the phenotype

Am J Med Genet. 1997 Feb 11;68(4):421-7. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19970211)68:4<421::aid-ajmg10>3.0.co;2-u.


Ritscher-Schinzel syndrome or 3C (craniocerebello-cardiac) syndrome is characterized by cardiac defects, cerebellar vermis hypoplasia, and cranial defects. Nineteen cases were reported previously; however, the full spectrum of this disorder has not been determined. We have evaluated two unrelated males with this condition. Both had defects of the endocardial cushion and vermis hypoplasia with hypotonia. In addition, both had hypospadias, a previously undescribed finding of this disorders. Review of the previously reported cases and those described herein demonstrate: 1) Although varying degrees of vermis hypoplasia are accompanied by hypotonia, delayed gross motor function improves with advancing age leaving speech delay as the major neurodevelopmental handicap. 2) Two different types of cardiac anomalies occur: defects of the endocardial cushion ranging from anomalies of the mitral or tricuspid valves to complete AV canal, and/or conotruncal defects. 3) Postnatal growth deficiency was seen in most patients in whom longitudinal information was available. In our review of patients with vermis hypoplasia we ascertained a patient diagnosed as having "Joubert syndrome" who had most findings of the Ritscher-Schinzel syndrome and several other patients with "Dandy-Walker syndrome" who likely have had Ritscher-Schinzel syndrome, suggesting that Ritscher-Schinzel syndrome is more common than has been appreciated. Careful search for the subtle facial changes characteristic of this disorder as well as coloboma, cleft palate/bifid uvula, short neck, syndactyly, and hypoplasia of the nails is warranted when evaluating children with Dandy-Walker malformation with or without clinical signs of Joubert syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Agenesis of Corpus Callosum
  • Cerebellum / abnormalities*
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Corpus Callosum / pathology
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / genetics
  • Developmental Disabilities / genetics
  • Face / abnormalities
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nipples / abnormalities
  • Phenotype
  • Pregnancy