To determine how DNA testing for familial neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1) would be used in a clinical setting by patients and physicians, we performed confirmatory DNA testing on 24 individuals with a family history of NF-1 and on nine couples who requested DNA testing for current or future prenatal diagnosis. A further eight families were unsuitable for DNA linkage testing because of their pedigree structure. For the majority of persons the certainty of the test result was 95% to 99%. In five individuals, only one of whom was less than 6 years of age, the DNA-based diagnosis was discrepant with the clinical diagnosis at the time of referral. In all five cases, results of subsequent clinical reexaminations were consistent with the DNA diagnosis. We conclude that DNA testing by linkage analysis may be most useful as an adjunct to the clinical diagnosis of familial NF-1 (1) in children less than 6 years of age in whom the full manifestations may not yet be apparent, (2) in NF-1 families interested in prenatal testing, and (3) when the resources available for a complete clinical examination are limited.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health