Heterogeneity for mutations in the CFTR gene and clinical correlations in patients with congenital absence of the vas deferens

Hum Reprod. 2000 Jul;15(7):1476-83. doi: 10.1093/humrep/15.7.1476.


Congenital absence of the vas deferens (CAVD) is a heterogeneous disorder, largely due to mutations in the cystic fibrosis (CFTR) gene. Patients with unilateral absence of the vas deferens (CUAVD) and patients with CAVD in association with renal agenesis appear to have a different aetiology to those with isolated CAVD. We have studied 134 Spanish CAVD patients [110 congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) and 24 CUAVD], 16 of whom (six CBAVD, 10 CUAVD) had additional renal anomalies. Forty-two different CFTR mutations were identified, seven of them being novel. Some 45% of the CFTR mutations were specific to CAVD, and were not found in patients with cystic fibrosis or in the general Spanish population. CFTR mutations were detected in 85% of CBAVD patients and in 38% of those with CUAVD. Among those patients with renal anomalies, 31% carried one CFTR mutation. Anomalies in seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts were common in patients with CAVD. The prevalence of cryptorchidism and inguinal hernia appeared to be increased in CAVD patients, as well as nasal pathology and frequent respiratory infections. This study confirms the molecular heterogeneity of CFTR mutations in CAVD, and emphasizes the importance of an extensive CFTR analysis in these patients. In contrast with previous studies, this report suggests that CFTR might have a role in urogenital anomalies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / metabolism
  • Chlorides / metabolism
  • Citric Acid / metabolism
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics*
  • Fructose / metabolism
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Kidney / abnormalities
  • Male
  • Mutation* / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Radiography
  • Semen / metabolism
  • Vas Deferens / abnormalities*
  • Vas Deferens / diagnostic imaging


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Chlorides
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • Citric Acid
  • Fructose