A series of 125 patients referred primarily with aniridia classified as either sporadic (74), familial (24), or in association with WAGR syndrome (14) or other malformations (13) was analysed for mutations, initially by karyotyping and targeted FISH analysis of chromosome 11p13. These methods identified mutations in a significant proportion of patients, 34/125 (27%). Two cases had chromosome rearrangements involving 11p13, 16 cases had visible deletions, and 16 cases had cryptic deletions identified by FISH. The frequency of cryptic deletions in familial aniridia was 27% and in sporadic isolated aniridia was 22%. Of the 14 cases referred with WAGR syndrome, 10 (71%) had chromosomal deletions, 2 cryptic and 8 visible. Of the 13 cases with aniridia and other malformations, 5 (38%) had a chromosomal rearrangement or deletion. In 37 cases with no karyotypic or cryptic chromosome abnormality, sequence analysis of the PAX6 gene was performed. Mutations were identified in 33 cases; 22 with sporadic aniridia, 10 with familial aniridia and 1 with aniridia and other non-WAGR syndrome associated anomalies. Overall, 67 of 71 cases (94%) undergoing full mutation analysis had a mutation in the PAX6 genomic region.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.