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Prenat Diagn. 2000 Sep;20(9):719-24.

The Genoa experience of prenatal diagnosis in NF1.

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Department of Oncology, Biology and Genetics, University of Genoa, Italy.


Type 1 neurofibromatosis (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disorder with an incidence of about 1 in 3500 live births. Symptoms are highly variable from a few cafè-au-lait spots and axillary freckling to plexiform neurofibromas, optic gliomas, pseudarthrosis, and malignancy. Since disease causing mutations are dispersed throughout the gene, prenatal diagnosis is usually performed in familial cases by linkage analysis and rarely by direct characterization of the mutation. We have characterized 48 families and have performed four prenatal diagnoses. In three cases, the linkage analysis was carried out using informative markers. A direct approach using the protein truncation test (PTT) and sequencing was performed in one case in which a R1947X mutation was identified. The extreme variability of the phenotypic expression of the NF1 gene makes reproductive decisions in NF1 families very difficult, as molecular diagnosis cannot predict clinical expression of the disease. The psychological management of the couple is therefore difficult. In two of the three examined families the reproductive choices were not influenced by the specific manifestations of the disease in that family.

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