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Disease Profile

Corneal dystrophy Thiel Behnke type

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)

Thiel Behnke corneal dystrophy; CDTB; Corneal dystrophy honeycomb shaped;


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Eye diseases


The following summary is from Orphanet, a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.

Orpha Number: 98960

Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy (TBCD) is a rare form of superficial corneal dystrophy characterized by sub-epithelial honeycomb-shaped corneal opacities in the superficial cornea, and progressive visual impairment.

Prevalence of this form of corneal dystrophy is not known. Cases have been reported in Germany, the USA and in other countries.

Clinical description
Corneal erosions develop in the first and second decade of life and cause ocular discomfort and pain. The erosions recur and vision gradually becomes impaired.

Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy appears to be caused by mutation in the TGFBI gene (5q31), like Reis-Bücklers corneal dystrophy. However, there appears to be genetic heterogeneity as another locus has also been identified on chromosome 10 (10q23-q24).

Diagnostic methods
Histological examinations reveal a variable thickness of the corneal epithelium. The epithelial basal lamina and Bowman layer display variable degenerative changes. Irregular subepithelial collagenous tissue is also found.

Differential diagnosis
TBCD is clinically similar to Reis-Bücklers corneal dystrophy (RBCD, see this term), but generally has a less severe course. Tissue examination or molecular genetic analysis can be used to differentiate TBCD and RBCD.

Genetic counseling
This entity has an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance.

Management and treatment
The pathologic corneal tissue can be excised surgically or with an eximer laser.

Visit the Orphanet disease page for more resources.


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:
Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Autosomal dominant inheritance
Corneal dystrophy
Corneal scarring
Juvenile epithelial corneal dystrophy
Extreme sensitivity of the eyes to light
Light hypersensitivity

[ more ]


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.

In-Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • 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 Corneal dystrophy Thiel Behnke type. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.