Prof Dr Enno Kleihauer (1927–2017) 2

Enno Kleihauer (1927–2017) was a German paediatrician and haematologist

Professor Kleihauer worked at the University of Um from 1969 until his retirement in 1995, as head of the Haematology Department II, and later head of the Clinic for Pediatrics.

He was involved in 183 original publications, primarily in paediatric haematology. Highlights include core publications in Nature and Science in the late 1950s and 1960s, which covered a wide medical and scientific spectrum in haemoglobin research, highly innovative at the time.

Kleihauer and Klaus Hermann Betke (1914–2011) described a simple test for the quantitative detection of foetal erythrocytes in the maternal blood in 1957…the Kleihauer-Betke test

  • Born July 6, 1927 at Pewsum in Ostfriesland
  • 1954 – Graduated medicine from Freiburg. Became Doctor of medicine in 1956.
  • 1955-1957 awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association). Kleihauer worked on ‘Red Cell Properties of Newborns and Infants. Comparative Studies of Fetal and Adult Erythrocytes’ under the guidance of Klaus Betke.
  • 1957 – detected foetal erythrocytes in the mother’s circulation by acid elution of adult haemoglobin from adult red blood cells – proof of an essential concept required for the development of anti-D prophylaxis for Rh-negative mothers
  • 1964 – Venia Legendi, Tübingen
  • 1966-1967 postdoctoral research fellow at the NIH and in Augusta, Georgia, USA
  • 1969-1972 head of the Haematology Department II, Universität Ulm
  • 1972-1995 director of the Clinic for Pediatrics Il, Universität Ulm
  • Died June 7, 2017 at Weißenhorn, Germany

Medical Eponyms
Kleihauer–Betke Test (1957)

Laboratory test used to screen maternal blood samples for the presence of foetal red blood cells. The Kleihauer–Betke Test relies on the fact that foetal RBCs are generally rich in haemoglobin F (HbF) which is resistant to acid.

Major Publications



Eponymous terms


the person behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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