Kanski’s Clinical Ophthalmology, a systematic
approach. Eighth edition Brad Bowling (2016) 917pp., 2,600
illustrations ISBN: 9780702055720 Elsevier
Barry R. Masters
Received: 27 October 2016 /Accepted: 3 November 2016 /Published online: 3 December 2016
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016
Clinical Ophthalmology is founded on the clinician’sobser-
vation of the patient’s eye. Such eye-to-eye observation was
limited to gross observations of the lids, the cornea, and the
lens. The optics of the eye prevents observation of the retina
by the clinician’s naked eye. New developments in ophthal-
mic instrumentation that augmented the naked eye observa-
tion of the clinician resulted in seminal advances in ophthal-
mic diagnostics. Helmholtz’s invention of the ophthalmo-
scope, his Augenspiegel, made the living retina visually ac-
cessible to the clinician. Invention after invention augmented
the early diagnostic instruments: the slit-lamp, the specular
microscope, the confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope,
and optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Many ocular diseases, disorders, dystrophies, and condi-
tions result in distinct clinical signs that an experienced clini-
cian can use to make a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is con-
firmed and validated, then medical or surgical treatment may
follow. Some clinical problems are readily discerned such as
retinal detachment, cataract, various forms of strabismus, su-
perficial corneal lesions, and ocular trauma. In spite of various
degrees of anatomical variation, wide variation in the severity
of the ocular problem the clinical signs have a strong correla-
tion with the fundamental condition that caused the clinical
problem. It is this strong clinical correlation that is the basis of
atlases of clinical ophthalmology. Systemic diseases have oc-
ular manifestations; a prime example is diabetes mellitus and
the resulting microaneurysms and retinal hemorrhages.
Control of the systemic disease is critical to mitigating diabetic
Acquired clinical knowledge was transmitted by both
journals and handbooks. As many of the mechanisms of ocu-
lar pathophysiology were elucidated, tested, and clinically
validated, the publishing of handbooks helped to disseminate
the new clinical knowledge as well as to instruct the clinician
on the proper use of the newly developed instruments for
clinical diagnosis. The following two seminal examples
helped to educate a generation of clinicians. Generations of
ophthalmologists were educated on Helmholtz’s Handbuch
der Physiologischen Optik (Handbook of Physiological
Optics) that was published by Leopold Voss, Leipzig 1867.
In 1921, Alfred Vogt published the first edition of his Atlas der
Spaltlampenmikroskopie des lebenden Auges (Berlin, J.
Springer). The second edition comprised two volumes and
was published in 1921 by Springer. The third volume was
published in 1942 by F. Enke. The first English translation
of Handbook and Atlas of Slit Lamp Microscopy of the
Living Eye was published in three volumes, (Zürich, 1947).
A new printing of the second edition (in German) was pub-
lished by J. P. Wayenborgh (Bonn, 1977). An English trans-
lation by F. C. Blodi, Textbook and Atlas of Slit Lamp
Microscopy of the Living Eye, was published by J. P.
Wayenborgh (Bonn, 1978–1981).
Clinical knowledge, diagnostic techniques and instrumen-
tation, and medical and surgical interventions are by their very
nature works in progress. The modern clinician can study and
refer to a variety of multivolume reference books that critically
evaluate the diagnostics and the clinical interventions related
to a specific region of the eye or a specific disease. In this
genre there are comprehensive volumes on the retina, the cor-
nea, the lens, and such topics as glaucoma, uveitis, cataract,
strabismus, and trauma.
Kanski’s Clinical Ophthalmology, A Systematic Approach.
Eighth Edition takes a more generalized approach that pre-
sents a broad scope of clinical ophthalmology in one volume.
* Barry R. Masters
Cambridge, MA, USA
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol (2017) 255:1867–1868