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Disease Profile

Bartter syndrome type 3

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)

Bartter syndrome classic


Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Kidney and Urinary Diseases; Metabolic disorders


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

Orpha Number: 93605

Classic Bartter syndrome is a type of Bartter syndrome (see this term), characterized by a milder clinical picture than the antenatal/infantile subtype, and presenting with failure to thrive, hypokalemic alkalosis, increased levels of plasma renin and aldosterone, low blood pressure and vascular resistance to angiotensin II.

Exact prevalence of Classic Bartter syndrome is not known. It is by far the most frequent type of Bartter syndrome.

Clinical description
Classic Bartter syndrome is characterized by a milder clinical picture with a wide phenotypic heterogeneity when compared to other subtypes of Bartter syndrome. Only one third of the patients present with maternal polyhydramnios which usually does not lead to prematurity. Patients usually present after neonatal period with failure to thrive, fatigue, muscle weakness, cramps and carpopedal spasms. Hypokalemia and alkalosis are common. Polyuria and hypostenuria/isosthenuria are variable, as is hypercalciuria. Few patients develop medullary nephrocalcinosis.

Mutation in CLCNKB gene (1p36), encoding a basolateral chloride channel ClCKb, has been identified as the most frequent cause of classic Bartter syndrome. Both the chloride channels, ClCKa and ClCKb are expressed in thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle (TALH), ClCKa is exclusively expressed in the ascending limb, while ClCKb is also expressed in distal convoluted tubule (DCT), thereby explaining the pronounced DCT features (similar to Gitelman syndrome; see this term) in some patients with CLCNKB mutations. CLCNKB mutations define classic Bartter syndrome; however, genes other than CLCNKB (those that are usually associated with other types of Bartter syndrome) may less commonly cause the classic, less severe phenotype, such as SLC12A1 and KCNJ1. Rarely, patients with BSND mutation may show a mild phenotype of salt loss associated with deafness.

Diagnostic methods
Diagnosis is based on the clinical picture, plasma and urine electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, magnesium, calcium), renin and aldosterone levels. Calcium levels in the urine may be normal or slightly increased. Genetic testing provides the definite diagnosis.

Differential diagnosis
The differential diagnosis includes pseudo-Bartter syndrome (diuretic abuse, surreptitious vomiting), cystic fibrosis, Gitelman syndrome, and celiac disease (see these terms).

Antenatal diagnosis
Diagnostic testing of amniocytes might be indicated for mothers of affected children, or potential heterozygous carriers (close relatives of affected individuals).

Genetic counseling
Inheritance is autosomal recessive.

Management and treatment
Treatment includes oral potassium supplements, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. indometacin) and possibly potassium-sparing diuretics. In stressful situations (additional diseases, surgical procedures, trauma) blood electrolyte levels may change rapidly, requiring prompt and vigorous treatment.

Life expectancy may be reduced in severe cases but renal failure is rare. Quality of life may be poor, growth rate reduced, and medicalization/hospitalization rate high.

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:
5%-29% of people have these symptoms
Low urine calcium levels
Percent of people who have these symptoms is not available through HPO
Abnormal choroid morphology
Abnormal retinal vascular morphology
Abnormality of retina blood vessels
Abnormal sclera morphology
Autosomal recessive inheritance
Generalized muscle weakness
Hyperactive renin-angiotensin system
Elevated plasma aldosterone
Increased aldosterone
Increased aldosterone production

[ more ]

Increased urinary chloride
Low blood potassium levels
Hypokalemic metabolic alkalosis
Low blood pressure
Impaired reabsorption of chloride
Increased circulating renin level
Elevated blood renin level
Increased urinary potassium
Increased urine output
Renal potassium wasting
Renal salt wasting
Loss of salt in urine


Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Supporting this Disease

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    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

    • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
    • 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 Bartter syndrome type 3. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.