CHARGE syndrome is a multiple congenital anomaly syndrome caused by mutations in the CHD7 gene. Mutations in this gene are found in 60-70% of patients suspected of having CHARGE syndrome. However, if only typical CHARGE patients are taken into account, mutations in the CHD7 gene are found in over 90% of cases. The remaining 10% might be caused by hitherto undetected alterations of the CHD7 gene, including whole exon duplications and deletions that are missed by the currently used diagnostic procedures. Therefore we looked for these kinds of alterations by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification in 54 patients suspected of having CHARGE syndrome without a CHD7 mutation. In one patient a partial deletion of the CHD7 gene (exons 13-38) was identified, while in the other patients no abnormalities were found. The frequency of exon deletions in our cohort was 1.9% (1/54) and 5.6% (1/18) in all patients and in typical CHARGE patients, respectively. We conclude that exon copy number alterations of the CHD7 gene are not a major cause of CHARGE and CHARGE-like syndrome. (c) 2008 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.