Neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disorder with marked variability of expression. Analysis of the NF1 gene (NF1) has detected a variety of mutations without any clear correlation with phenotype. However, deletions which remove all of NF1 have been reported in a small number of patients who have minor facial abnormalities, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and early or excessive burden of cutaneous or plexiform neurofibromas. The purpose of this study was to determine whether these phenotypic traits are associated with whole gene deletions. Out of 406 of our NF1 patients, 70 patients had manifestations previously associated with gene deletions. Thirty-five of these patients from 26 families were available for study. By fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis, 4 were found to have deletions of the entire gene, including 2 sporadic cases, 1 familial case, and 1 case where family history could not be verified. In addition, the mother of the familial case was found to be mosaic for the deletion. Our results suggest that although large NF1 deletions occur with relatively high frequency in patients with certain findings, the presence of a deletion cannot be predicted solely on the basis of clinical phenotype.