[Skip to Navigation]
May 1936


Arch Ophthalmol. 1936;15(5):900-921. doi:10.1001/archopht.1936.00840170112011

This paper deals with a type of alteration in the curvature of the cornea which has concerned practitioners of medicine for the past two hundred years. The earliest mention of the condition found by Fox1 is that contained in the dissertation, entitled "Staphyloma diaphanum," published by Mauchart at Tübingen, Germany, in 1748. Demours, of Paris, was said to have reported a case one year earlier, while Scarpa described one in 1802. Pickford, of Dublin, reported a case in 1843.

From the wide range of names by which this condition was known to individual observers, it is evident that obscurity cloaked the nature of keratoconus. Attempts were made to name it in a manner which would suggest the etiology or the pathologic characteristics. The most common designations were conical cornea, hyperkeratosis, staphyloma pellucidum conicum, conical hydrophthalmia and even anterior myopia. Nottingham, of Liverpool, was the first properly to describe kerato