- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Koplik's spots

Related people

Small, grain-of-sand sized, irregular, bright red spots with blue-white centres, occurring on the inside of the cheek (buccal mucosa). Seen only on measles (rubeolae) they are, by themselves, a diagnostic sign in measles. The spots usually occur briefly after the fever begins and a couple of days before the generalized rash appears. Not infrequently, the spots disappear as the eruption develops.

The first description of these spots by some authors are ascribed to Reubold, W├╝rzburg 1854, by others to Johann Andreas Murray (1740-1791). Before Koplik, the German internist Carl Jakob Adolf Christian Gerhardt (1833-1902) in 1874, the Danish physician N. Flindt in 1879, and the Russian Nicolai Feodorowitsch von Filatov (1847-1902) in 1897, had observed equivalent phenomena.


  • H. Koplik:
    The diagnosis of the invasion of measles from a study of the exanthema as it appears on the buccal mucous membrane.
    Archives of Pediatrics, New York, 1896; 13: 918-922.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.