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March 1964

The Iron Lines of the Superficial Cornea: Hudson-Stahli Line, Stocker's Line and Fleischer's Ring

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla
Former National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness Special Fellow in Ophthalmic Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington 25, DC, and Resident, Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; present Instructor Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Medical School, Miami, Fla.; From the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland; the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; and the Veterans Administration Central Laboratory of Anatomic Pathology and Research, AFIP, Washington, DC 20305.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;71(3):348-358. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970010364010

Hudson8 in 1911 and Stahli12 in 1918 independently described a superficial horizontal brown line in otherwise normal corneas of predominantly elderly patients. The frequency with which the line was observed was not stated. The youngest patient having a line was 25 years of age. Hudson believed that the location of the line at the junction of the middle and the lower one third of the cornea was related to exposure and the trauma of lid closure which might be responsible for "a primary hyalinization of the cornea." He judged the location of the line to be, "a short distance beneath the corneal epithelium." He noted its similar appearance to Fleischer's pigment ring in keratoconus. Although Fleischer3 had attributed the ring to deposition of hematoidin in the region of breaks in Bowman's membrane, Hudson believed that there was no evidence that the senile line was derived from blood.