Mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli gene (APC) often cause both congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (CHRPE) and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). To investigate the relationship between APC mutations, CHRPE and FAP, all FAP patients at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong, were asked to participate in a study. Ten Chinese patients from 6 kindreds and their family members volunteered, along with 12 healthy control subjects selected among hospital visitors and staff. All were examined for dilated fundus by indirect ophthalmoscopy. Mutations in APC coding exons were detected by sequencing. In one FAP patient, a novel A insertion at codon 1023 was detected. Three previously reported mutations were detected in 6 FAP patients: a deletion of ACAAA at codon 1061, and 2 truncating point substitutions at codons 216 and 283. In 3 FAP patients, no APC mutation was found, suggesting that mutations in APC coding regions are not the sole cause of FAP or CHRPE. A total of 64 CHRPE lesions were found in FAP patients and some relatives with and without APC mutations. Contrary to most reports, APC mutations before exon 9 did cause CHRPE lesions, albeit relatively few.