Combined molecular and clinical approaches for the identification of families with familial adenomatous polyposis coli

Ann Surg. 1999 Mar;229(3):350-61. doi: 10.1097/00000658-199903000-00008.


Objective: Using an interdisciplinary clinical and molecular approach, the authors identified APC germline mutations in families with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Correlation of mutation site with disease manifestation and the impact of molecular data on clinical proceedings were examined.

Summary background data: Germline mutations in the APC gene predispose to FAP. Established and proposed genotype-phenotype correlations as well as the influence of mutation site on surgical procedures have been reported. The predictive value of APC mutation analysis for disease manifestation and therapeutic decision making needs to be investigated further.

Methods: One hundred twenty-three kindreds of the local FAP registry were included in this study. CHRPE phenotype was defined as at least one large characteristic lesion or a total of four lesions in both eyes. APC mutations were identified by protein truncation test and automated DNA sequencing from patient lymphocyte DNA and RNA.

Results: APC germline mutations were identified in 85/123 families with FAP. They were located between codons 213 and 1581 of the APC gene and displayed distinct genotype-phenotype correlations. CHRPE status facilitated mutation analysis by discriminating regions of interest within the APC coding region. Severe manifestations of desmoids were restricted to mutations between codons 1444 through 1581. Whereas 91% (75/82) of at-risk persons were excluded as mutation carriers, APC germline mutations were detected before clinical examination in 9% (7/82) of at-risk persons. One patient agreed to endoscopy only after mutation detection.

Conclusions: This study supports the feasibility of combined molecular and clinical screening of families with FAP and may provide a guideline for routine presymptomatic molecular diagnostics in a clinical laboratory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Decision Trees
  • Fibromatosis, Aggressive
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye