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Optom Vis Sci. 2007 Oct;84(10):976-83.

The development of validated bulbar redness grading scales.

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Centre for Contact Lens Research, School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.



To develop a perceptually and physically based bulbar redness grading scale.


Digital conjunctival hyperemia photographs were taken using a photo-slit lamp at controlled exposures. Nine participants arranged 25 images on a tabletop over a range of 1.5 m, using separation to represent changes in redness. The position of each image was recorded and normalized for a 0 to 100 scale, and compared to chromaticity of each image obtained using a spectrophotometer. The performance of two versions of the scale (5 and 10 images) and a continuous grading scale was evaluated based on repeatability data collected from nineteen observers who used each scale twice to grade 30 randomly presented images of bulbar redness.


Psychophysical scaling was highly correlated between single observers (Pearson's r >or= 0.92, p < 0.05). The averaged subjective grades significantly correlated with chromaticity (r = 0.95 and r = 0.99, p < 0.001 for CIE u* and log u*, respectively). Across all observers, test and retest ratings were highly correlated with either scale (r >or= 0.98), and showed high levels of repeatability expressed by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC >or= 0.98), correlation coefficients of concordance (CCC >or= 0.96), and coefficients of repeatability (COR <or= 5.64). Despite single unit increment options, the majority of grade values assigned using the discrete scales were distributed in multiples of 5.


Combining psychophysical and physical attributes is a promising method for the development of novel anterior segment scales; the newly developed scales performed well in a clinical setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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