- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Michael Anton Biermer

Born  1827-10-18
Died  1892-10-15

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German physician, born October 18, 1827, Bamberg; died October 15, 1892, Maison de santé in Schönberg near Berlin.

Biography of Michael Anton Biermer

Michael Anton Biermer completed his medical studies in Würzburg, a student of Rudolf Virchow and Karl Friedrich von Marcus (1802-1862), and received his doctorate on February 12, 1851. He devoted himself entirely to internal medicine and was active in this discipline as Privatdozent in Würzburg from 1855.

Biermer was called to the chair in Bern on May 1, 1861, to Zurich in the Easter of 1867, and to Breslau in 1874. He worked in Breslau until illness in 1891 forced him to leave office, becoming emeritus. He died on June 1892 in the Maison de santé in Schöneberg near Berlin.

While a professor of medicine in Zurich, Biermer in 1871 gave a remarkable description of pernicious anaemia, and was the first to observe retinal haemorrhages. Although the majority and perhaps all of the patients he described did not have true pernicious anaemia, his paper was widely editorialised and led to a wide search for the condition and it became the popular term for the common form of B12 deficiency anaemia. It was Biermer who coined the term «progressive pernicious anaemia».

In the history of medicine his name is attached to a series of discoveries in the field of clinical microscopy.


  • Über die Richtung und Wirkung der Flimmerbewegung auf der Respirationsschleimhaut des Menschen, Kaninchens und Hundes. 1851.
  • Die Lehre vom Auswurf. 1855.
  • Bronchienkrankheiten.
  • Zur Symptomatologie des Pneumothorax.
    Zeitschrift für Heilkunde, Prague, 1862, 1: 101.
  • Krankheiten der Bronchien und des Lungen-Parenchym.
    2. Lief. Erlangen, 1865, 1867.
  • Über die Ursachen der Volkskrankheiten, insbesondere der Cholera. Zürich, 1867.
  • Über eine eigentümliche Form von progressiver, perniciöser Anaemie. Correspondenz-Blatt für Schweizer Aerzte, Basel, 1872, 2: 15-17. Addison-Biermer disease.
  • Über Asthma bronchiale und über Entstehung des Typhus abdominalis.
    (Volkmanns) Sammlung klinisher Vorträge, Leipzig.
  • Über die Krankheiten und ihre Ursachen.
    Rector inaugural speech, October 15, 1881. Deutsche Revue, November 1881.

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