Validation of a clinical assessment tool for cicatrising conjunctivitis

Hon Shing Ong, Darwin Minassian, Saaeha Rauz, Jodhbir S. Mehta, John K. Dart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
220 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study was designed to validate a semi-quantitative clinical assessment tool for cicatrising conjunctivitis (CC).

Methods: Fifty-five patients (109 eyes) with mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) and 31 patients (61 eyes) with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) were included. Three methods were used for validation: (1) comparison of inter- and intra-observer reproducibility for the components selected for the initial version of the tool, (2) quantitative measurement of the scarring component with a fornix depth measurer, compared with qualitative Tauber grading methodology, (3) the final version of the tool was compared with the published Sotozono SJS grading system. Main outcome measures included: inter- and intra-observer reproducibility, calculation of composite measures of scarring and morbidity, component redundancy, and correlation with other grading systems.

Results: Inter- and intra-observer agreement was moderate-to-excellent for graded components of conjunctival hyperaemia, upper and lower symblepharon, upper and lower fornix depth, corneal vascularisation, and corneal opacity. There was poor-to-good agreement for limitation of motility which was rejected from inclusion in the final tool. Composite scores for scarring components and morbidity components showed good-to-excellent agreement and distribution of ocular disease severity. Analysis of the composite components showed no redundancy - all components contributed independently. Comparison with both Tauber and Sotozono grading methodologies showed good concordance.

Conclusions: This study has developed the first validated assessment tool applicable to causes of CC. The tool is concise and discriminates patients with varying disease severity. It measures both disease activity and severity and is suitable for clinical and research applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalThe Ocular Surface
Issue number1
Early online date3 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • cicatrizing conjunctivitis
  • conjunctiva
  • cornea pathology
  • fornix depth measurer (FDM)
  • grading tool
  • measurements
  • mucous membrane pemphigoid
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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