The clinical manifestation of hemophilia A is caused by a wide range of different mutations. In this study the factor VIII genes of 147 severe hemophilia A patients--all exclusively from sporadic families--were screened for mutations by use of the complete panel of modern DNA techniques. The pathogenous defect could be characterized in 126 patients (85.7 percent). Fifty-five patients (37.4 percent) showed a F8A-gene inversion, 47 (32.0 percent) a point mutation, 14 (9.5 percent) a small deletion, 8 (5.4 percent) a large deletion, and 2 (1.4 percent) a small insertion. Further, four (2.7 percent) mutations were localized but could not be sequenced yet. No mutation could be identified in 17 patients (11.6 percent). Sixteen (10.9 percent) of the identified mutations occurred in the B domain. Four of these were located in an adenosine nucleotide stretch at codon 1192, indicating a mutation hotspot. Somatic mosaicisms were detected in 3 (3.9 percent) of 76 patients, mothers, comprising 3 of 16 de novo mutations in the patients mothers. Investigation of family relatives allowed detection of a de novo mutation in 16 of 76 two-generation and 28 of 34 three-generation families. On the basis of these data, the male:female ratio of mutation frequencies (k) was estimated as k = 3.6. By use of the quotients of mutation origin in maternal grandfather to patients mother or to maternal grandmother, k was directly estimated as k = 15 and k = 7.5, respectively. Considering each mutation type separately, we revealed a mutation type-specific sex ratio of mutation frequencies. Point mutations showed a 5-to-10-fold-higher and inversions a >10-fold-higher mutation rate in male germ cells, whereas deletions showed a >5-fold-higher mutation rate in female germ cells. Consequently, and in accordance with the data of other diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, our results indicate that at least for X-chromosomal disorders the male:female mutation rate of a disease is determined by its proportion of the different mutation types.