Eye Involvement in Wilson's Disease: A Review of the Literature

J Clin Med. 2022 Apr 30;11(9):2528. doi: 10.3390/jcm11092528.


Wilson's disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder due to a mutation of the ATP7B gene, resulting in impaired hepatic copper excretion and accumulation in various tissues. Ocular findings are one of the hallmarks of the disease. Many ophthalmological manifestations have been described and new techniques are currently available to improve their diagnosis and to follow their evolution. We have performed a systematic PubMed search to summarize available data of the recent literature on the most frequent ophthalmological disorders associated with WD, and to discuss the newest techniques used for their detection and follow-up during treatment. In total, 49 articles were retained for this review. The most common ocular findings seen in WD patients are Kayser-Fleischer ring (KFR) and sunflower cataracts. Other ocular manifestations may involve retinal tissue, visual systems and eye mobility. Diagnosis and follow-up under decoppering treatment of these ocular findings are generally easily performed with slit-lamp examination (SLE). However, new techniques are available for the precocious detection of ocular findings due to WD and may be of great value for non-experimented ophthalmologists and non-ophthalmologists practitioners. Among those techniques, anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) and Scheimpflug imaging are discussed.

Keywords: Kayser–Fleischer ring; Wilson’s disease; copper; eye involvement; sunflower cataract.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This research received no external funding.