Type I familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP) is a molecular disorder with a mutation of the transthyretin (TTR) gene, and most patients previously examined were reported to be heterozygous for this mutant gene. In the present study a rapid and easy DNA diagnostic method employing the polymerase chain reaction revealed an asymptomatic homozygous TTR gene carrier in a Japanese family with type I FAP. The level of the variant TTR (methionine instead of valine at position 30) in his serum was much higher than that usually found in type I FAP patients. However, the histological findings of the biopsied rectum and abdominal fat tissues failed to demonstrate amyloid deposits, and the autonomic nerves from his rectal mucosa were normally preserved. Moreover, his 72-year-old mother (a TTR gene heterozygote) was supposed to start amyloid deposition in her late sixties. It is suggested that in addition to the mutant TTR gene some other factors control the development of the disease.