Congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium in familial adenomatous polyposis: Novel criteria of assessment and correlations with constitutional adenomatous polyposis coli gene mutations

Rosa Valanzano, Alessandro Cama, Roberto Volpe, Maria Cristina Curia, Rita Mencucci, Raffaele Palmirotta, Pasquale Battista, Ferdinando Ficari, Renato Mariani-Costantini, Francesco Tonelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND. Congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (CHRPE) is the most common extracolonic manifestation of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and is an early clinical marker of the disease. It seems to be correlated with the position of constitutional mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. METHODS. The authors investigated the expression of CHRPE and its correlation with the position of the APC gene in FAP patients and in 'at risk' relatives from 31 FAP kindreds. To obtain comparable data on CHRPE expression, the authors developed a novel scoring system based on morphologic and dimensional criteria. RESULTS. A positive CHRPE score was obtained in 29 of 39 FAP patients (74%) and in 16 of 53 relatives who showed no clinical evidence of FAP (30%). Colonoscopy revealed polyps in 20 of the 47 relatives who could be examined. The cumulative sensitivity and specificity of CHRPE were 72.88% and 96.29%, respectively, APC gene mutations were characterized in 34 subjects from 17 kindreds. In 28 of the subjects, mutations were detected in exon 15, between codons 876 and 1324. Mutations were found in exon 9 in 6 subjects. In 3 of the 6 subjects, they were found at the site where both forms of alternative splicing of the exon occur (codon 437). In the other 3 subjects (another kindred), mutations were found in the portion of exon 9 in which alternative splicing occurs (codon 367). Only 1 of the 6 subjects (16.6%) with mutations in exon 9 had a positive CHRPE score, compared with 28 of 28 subjects (100%) with mutations in exon 15. None of the 3 subjects with munitions in codon 437 had a positive CHRPE score. The CHRPE scores of exon 15 mutation carriers varied markedly both within and among kindreds, irrespective of the mutation site. CONCLUSIONS. The results of this study indicate that the site of APC gene mutation influences CHRPE expression but is not the only factor responsible for the presence and level of retinal lesions in FAP patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2400-2410
Number of pages11
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1996



  • adenomatous polyposis coli gene
  • congenital
  • familial adenomatous
  • hypertrophy
  • mutations
  • polyposis
  • retinal pigment epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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