The corneal copper content was measured by X-ray excitation spectrometry in two controls and in seven patients with Wilson's disease. Patients who were treated irregularly or not treated at all showed a high corneal copper content. Those who were adequately treated had low levels, comparable to the controls. In one case the corneal copper content declined by 45%, after a course of dimercaprol. The corneal copper measured showed no correlation with the slit-lamp appearance of the Kayser-Fleischer ring. It is suggested that non-invasive X-ray excitation spectrometry can provide a fast and reliable method for the early diagnosis of Wilson's disease and for the objective evaluation of the efficacy of the treatment of this disease.
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