Background: Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is almost unique among inherited disorders in the frequency of mosaicism in the first affected generation. However, the implications of this on transmission risks have not been fully elucidated.
Methods: The expanded database of 460 families with NF2 and 704 affected individuals was analysed for mosaicism and transmission risks to offspring.
Results: 64 mosaic patients, with a projected mosaicism rate of 33% for sporadic classical NF2 with bilateral vestibular schwannoma at presentation and 60% for those presenting unilaterally, were identified. Offspring risks can be radically reduced on the basis of a sensitive mutation analysis of blood DNA including multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA, which detects 15% of all mutations), but even MLPA cannot detect high levels of mosaicism.
Conclusion: The chances of mosaicism in NF2 and the resultant risks of transmission of the mutation to offspring in a number of different clinical situations have been further delineated. The use of MLPA in this large NF2 series is also reported for the first time.