Rare Infectious Disease News

Disease Profile

Morning glory syndrome

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)

Ectasic coloboma; Volubilis syndrome; Morning glory disc anomaly


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Eye diseases


Morning glory syndrome (MGS) is a birth (congenital) defect of the nerve of the eye (optic nerve) that resembles a flower known as "morning glory". It is characterized by an enlarged, funnel-shaped cavity of the optic disc, the point in the eye where the optic nerve fibers leave the retina. The disc is enlarged and has a white center (giving the appearance of a white pupil). The blood vessels are increased in number and curve as they come from the enlarged disc that have the white center, resulting in this malformation to be similar to petals on a flower. Most reported cases are unilateral (affecting only one eye), sporadic (without other cases in the family), and occur in females.

Symptoms include very poor vision in the affected eye with poor visual acuity. MGS may occur by itself or along with other eye abnormalities, such as crossed eyes (strabismus) or lazy eye (amblyopia), or other non-ocular problems like brain disorders. [1][2][3] Typically, individuals with non-ocular findings also have a wide head, depressed nasal bridge, and mid upper lip defect or cleft.[3] MGS seems to be caused from failure of the optic nerve to completely form when the baby is developing. The most severe complication is retinal detachment, and can occur in about 26–38% of people with MGS.[4] The MGS is sometimes misdiagnosed as an optic nerve coloboma.[3] 

Treatment includes surgery and may result in some recovery of vision. Depending on the other associated abnormalities some patients require referrals to several specialties such as neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, otolaryngology, and dentistry. All people diagnosed with morning glory disc anomaly should have brain image exams.[3][4]



This table lists symptoms that people with this disease may have. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed. This information comes from a database called the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) . The HPO collects information on symptoms that have been described in medical resources. The HPO is updated regularly. Use the HPO ID to access more in-depth information about a symptom.

Medical Terms Other Names
Learn More:
80%-99% of people have these symptoms
Abnormality of retinal pigmentation
Lazy eye
Wandering eye

[ more ]

Squint eyes

[ more ]

5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Clouding of the lens of the eye
Cloudy lens

[ more ]

Involuntary, rapid, rhythmic eye movements
Optic nerve coloboma
Retinal detachment
Detached retina

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology Web site has an information page on Morning glory syndrome. Their Web site is dedicated to educating people about eye diseases and conditions and the preservation of eye health.

In-Depth Information

  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Morning glory syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  1. Muslubas IS, Hocaoglu M, Arf S & Karacorlu M. A case of morning glory syndrome associated with persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous and Peters’ anomaly. GMS Ophthalmology Cases. 2017; 7:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5244077/.
  2. Morning Glory Syndrome. Orphanet. 2017; https://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/Disease_Search.php?lng=EN&data_id=10399.
  3. Strominger MB. Morning Glory Syndrome. American Academy of Ophthalmology. October 14, 2015; https://www.aao.org/pediatric-center-detail/neuro-ophthalmology-morning-glory-syndrome.
  4. Lytvynchuk LM, Glittenberg CG, Ansari-Shahrezaei S & Binder S. Intraoperative optical coherence tomography assisted analysis of pars Plana vitrectomy for retinal detachment in morning glory syndrome: a case report. BMC Ophthalmology. 2017; 17:134. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5540621/.