Congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) is characterized by azoospermia and male infertility. Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene are associated with cystic fibrosis (CF), the most common autosomal recessive disorder in Caucasians. Recent publications on CBAVD raised the question whether CFTR gene mutations are responsible for CBAVD occurrence or not. This study was conducted to explore the role of CFTR gene mutations in the occurrence of CBAVD-dependent male infertility. Forty-four chromosomes of 22 CBAVD patients from Austrian ancestry were studied. For detection of the most common mutation DeltaF508, a deletion of phenylalanine at the 508th position of mature CFTR chloride channel protein, the 10th exon of the gene was screened by heteroduplex analysis. In order to identify non-DeltaF508 mutations, we also analyzed the entire coding regions, exon/intron boundaries of 27 exons and the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions of the gene by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) after polymerase chain reaction. All exons showing different banding patterns on the DGGE gels were sequenced to define existing DNA sequence variations. Among the analyzed 44 chromosomes of 22 patients, disease producing mutations were found in 31.8% (14/44). The most common mutation was DeltaF508 with a frequency of 43% (6/14), followed by R117H with 29% (4/14). Our results indicate that CFTR gene mutations are common but not the only reason for the occurrence of CBAVD-dependent male infertility. We recommend screening of the CFTR gene in these patients.