Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is one of the most common autosomal recessive diseases. Survival motor neuron1 (SMN1) is the SMA disease-determining gene. We examined the molecular basis of SMA in 113 Chinese SMA patients. Homozygous exon 7 and 8 deletions in SMN1 were detected by PCR-RFLP. Heterozygous deletion of SMN1 was analyzed based on variation of the sequencing peak height of the two different base pairs of exons 7 and 8 between SMN1 and SMN2.