Kayser-Fleischer Rings


Other Known Aliasesnone


Definition1-3mm, grey/green/brown pigmented ring in the Descemet membrane of the cornea.  It first appears at the 12 o’clock position in early disease, then a second crescent forms at 6 o’clock, and then finally completely encircling the cornea.


Kayser-Fleischer ring.jpg


Clinical Significance – This is pathognomonic for Wilson’s disease, but does not cause any symptoms with the patient.  They are often identified on good ophthalmic examinations.


History – Named after Bernhard Kayser (1869-1954) and Bruno Fleischer (1874-1965), who were both German ophthalmologists and contemporaries of each other.  Dr. Kayser received his medical doctorate at the University of Berlin in 1893 and practiced as a specialized ophthalmologist in Stuttgart, Germany for the majority of his career.  Dr. Fleischer received his medical doctorate at the University of Tübingen in 1898 and practiced there earning a reputation as an extraordinary professor.  Each published their findings in Klinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde within a year of each other (1902 and 1903), but erroneously posited that it was due to silver accumulation.  The first published report of copper being the causative agent was in 1934 by Dr. Werner Gerlach and Willhelm Rohrschneider.




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  7. Kayser B. “Über einen Fall von angeborener grünlicher Verfärbung des Cornea”. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilk. 1902;40(2):22–25.
  8. Fleischer B. “Zwei weitere Fälle von grünlicher Verfärbung der Kornea”. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilk. 1903;41(1):489–491
  9. Gerlach W, Rohrschneider W. “Besteht das Pigment des Kayser-Fleischerschen Hornhautringes aus Silber?”. Klin Wochenschr. 1934;13: 48–49

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