Karl Stellwag von Carion

Karl Stellwag von Carion (1823 – 1904)

Karl Stellwag von Carion (1823 – 1904) was an Austrian ophthalmologist.

Contributed largely to the literature of Ophthalmology. Author of a textbook of practical ophthalmology (1862) translated into English, Italian and Hungarian.

Mathematical observations of anomalies of refraction and his research on glaucoma; on the polarization of light in the human eye entitle him to an honorable place in the history of ophthalmology. 1856 he coined the term ‘ectopia lentis‘, when describing a patient who had congenital lens dislocation.

The bent of Stellwag von Carion’s mind was more towards original research than to practice, but he always showed the greatest kindness of heart in dealing with his patients.‘ – BMJ 1904


  • Born 28 January 1823
  • Medical degree, University of Prague
  • 1847 – MD University of Vienna. Thesis: ‘Ophthalmology from the standpoint of natural science‘.
  • 1848 – Assistant in the department of ophthalmology at Vienna General Hospital
  • 1854 – Privat-docent
  • 1857 – Extraordinary Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Vienna.
  • 1873 – Professor Ordinarius, University of Vienna.
  • Died 21 November 1904 in Langendorf

Key Medical Attributions

Ectopia Lentis: The oldest reference found in the literature pertaining to ectopia is that of von Graefe (1854) who described the condition and called particular attention to its hereditary nature. Stellwag von Carion described the condition in full in 1856 (Wchnbl. d. k. k. Gesellsch. d. Aerzte in Wien 1856;2:797)

Medical Eponyms

  • Stellwag Sign (1869) – infrequent or incomplete blinking associated with exophthalmos.

Major Publications


eponymictionary CTA 2


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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