Definitions and standardization of a new grading scheme for eyelid contour abnormalities after trichiasis surgery

Emily W. Gower, Sheila K. West, Sandra D. Cassard, Beatriz E. Munoz, Jennifer C. Harding, Shannath L. Merbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Clear definitions of outcomes following trichiasis surgery are critical for planning program evaluations and for identifying ways to improve trichiasis surgery. Eyelid contour abnormality is an important adverse outcome of surgery; however, no standard method has been described to categorize eyelid contour abnormalities. Methodology/Principal Findings: A classification system for eyelid contour abnormalities following surgery for trachomatous trichiasis was developed. To determine whether the grading was reproducible using the classification system, six-week postoperative photographs were reviewed by two senior graders to characterize severity of contour abnormalities. Sample photographs defining each contour abnormality category were compiled and used to train four new graders. All six graders independently graded a Standardization Set of 75 eyelids, which included a roughly equal distribution across the severity scale, and weighted kappa scores were calculated. Two hundred forty six-week postoperative photographs from an ongoing clinical trial were randomly selected for evaluating agreement across graders. Two months after initial grading, one grader regraded a subset of the 240 photographs to measure longer-term intra-observer agreement. The weighted kappa for agreement between the two senior graders was 0.80 (95% CI: 0.71-0.89). Among the Standardization Set, agreement between the senior graders and the 4 new graders showed weighted kappa scores ranging from 0.60-0.80. Among 240 eyes comprising the clinical trial dataset, agreement ranged from weighted kappa 0.70-0.71. Longer-term intra-observer agreement was weighted kappa 0.86 (95% CI: 0.80-0.92). Conclusions/Significance: The standard eyelid contour grading system we developed reproducibly delineates differing levels of contour abnormality. This grading system could be useful both for helping to evaluate trichiasis surgery outcomes in clinical trials and for evaluating trichiasis surgery programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1713
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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