Using a simple, standardized denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) based mutation screening technique, a novel G-to-A mutation in the last base of the intron 12 splice acceptor site of the LDL receptor gene was found in 2 Danish families with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The mutation is shown to result in 2 mRNA splice variants, both leading to truncated LDLR proteins, containing only the first 594 of the normal 839 amino acids. In one of the FH-families harbouring the mutation, a striking difference in the clinical picture amongst biochemically diagnosed FH patients was clarified when genetic analysis showed that 2 hypercholesterolemic family members, who despite advanced age had no atherosclerotic disease, had not inherited the family LDLR mutation. DGGE analyses of the LDLR exons, LDLR promoter, and apolipoprotein B codon 3456-3553 as well as Southern blotting of the LDLR gene were without signs of other mutations in the non-atherosclerotic hypercholesterolemics of the family. Availability of the clinically applicable mutation screening assay for FH may thus aid in defining reasons for phenotypic differences in FH families and potentially supply information allowing a more differentiated therapeutic approach to individual members of FH families.