Rating papilloedema: an evaluation of the Frisén classification in idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Alexandra Sinclair, MA Burdon, Peter Nightingale, TD Matthews, A Jacks, M Lawden, A Sivaguru, BJ Gaskin, Saaeha Rauz, Carl Clarke, AK Ball

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47 Citations (Scopus)


The appearance of the optic disc is a key measure of disease status in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). The Frisén classification describes stages of optic disc swelling (grades 0-5). It is the only classification of papilloedema, and is used internationally in clinical and research practice. Despite this, there has been very limited evaluation of the scale. We assessed the inter-rater reproducibility and ability to discriminate optic disc changes over time using the Frisén classification compared with a system of ranking papilloedema severity in patients with IIH. Paired disc photographs (before and after treatment) were obtained from 47 patients with IIH (25 acute and 22 chronic). Six neuro-ophthalmologists blinded to patient identity, clinical information and chronology of the photographs reviewed the discs and allocated a Frisén grade and ranked the paired discs in order of papilloedema severity (disc ranking). A total of 188 optic disc photographs were reviewed. All six reviewers agreed in only three comparisons (1.6%) when using the Frisén classification, compared with 42 comparisons (45.2%) when using disc ranking. The probability of agreement between any two reviewers was 36.1% for Frisén grade and 70.0% for disc ranking. Disc ranking had significantly greater sensitivity for finding differences in degree of disc oedema, identifying a difference in 75.3% of paired photographs compared to 53.2% detected using the Frisén classification (p 
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2012


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