Molecular diagnosis of congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens: analyses of the CFTR gene in 64 French patients

Ann Genet. 1997;40(1):5-9.


Congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens is a congenital reproductive disorder that affects about one in 1000 male individuals. Screening of the entire coding and flanking sequences of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene in 64 males with CBAVD revealed that in only 23% CBAVD was caused by two CFTR mutations. The 5T allele in one copy, that causes reduced levels of the normal CFTR protein, in combination with a CFTR mutation in the other copy, was one of the most common causes of CBAVD. Twenty six per cent of men with CBAVD had the 5T allele. The presence of only one CFTR mutation or the 5T allele in 34% of patients suggests that undetected changes in CFTR may be involved in CBAVD. These molecular defects are probably mutations with partial penetrance. Moreover, the high proportion (20%) of patients with CBAVD who did not have CFTR mutations or the 5T allele allows to propose that another gene or genes could be responsible for CBAVD. In these cases, in vitro fertilization may be required and the genetic counselling appears to be very complex and additional studies, including CFTR mRNA and linkage analyses, are required to resolve these questions.

MeSH terms

  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics*
  • Electrophoresis / methods
  • France
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Introns
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Oligospermia / genetics*
  • Oligospermia / pathology
  • Vas Deferens / abnormalities*


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator