The term superficial punctate keratitis was introduced by Fuchs1 in 1889 to describe superficial keratitis secondary to acute conjunctivitis. This disease is now generally known under the more descriptive name of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Since Fuchs' original use of the term, superficial punctate keratitis has at no time been applied strictly to the disease entity he described in connection with it. It has tended rather to become a general morphological designation for any condition presenting multiple, small, discrete lesions of the cornea affecting the epithelial and immediately adjacent subepithelial tissues. This has resulted in an unfortunate confusion in the literature, since many clinical entities of known or unknown causation produce punctate epithelial lesions and a smaller but appreciable number produce punctate subepithelial lesions.
Of the many types of epithelial keratitis, however, one stands out as a distinct clinical entity, and it is proposed that the name superficial punctate keratitis be
THYGESON P. SUPERFICIAL PUNCTATE KERATITIS. JAMA. 1950;144(18):1544–1549. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920180008004