A comparison of two methods of evaluating cornea-to-contact lens base curve fluorescein patterns in keratoconus

Barbara A. Fink, Joseph T. Barr, Timothy B. Edrington, Gilbert E. Pierce, Kenneth B. Schechtman, Marjorie J. Rah, Roanne Flom, Karla Zadnik

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14 Scopus citations


Purpose. The purposes of the study were as follows: (1) to compare the apical fitting relationship of habitual contact lens fluorescein patterns in keratoconus as determined by clinician assessment of on-eye patterns to those determined by photograph readers looking at slides of fiuorescein patterns and (2) to determine the validity of the techniques used in assessing the apical fitting relationships of rigid corneal contact lenses on keratoconic corneas. Methods. Central fluorescein patterns of rigid contact lens-wearing keratoconus patients enrolled in the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) Study were graded as "definite touch," "touch," "clearance," or "definite clearance" by certified clinicians. Photographs of these patterns were evaluated independently by certified, masked photograph readers using the same grading scale. Results. Agreement between "re-reads" of the same fluorescein pattern slides by the photograph readers was substantial (weighted kappa = 0.751). Agreement between assessments of habitual fit fluorescein patterns at the baseline vs. the repeat visits was poor for the photograph readers (weighted kappa = 0.254) and moderate for the clinicians (kappa = 0.480). Agreement between clinicians' and photograph readers' assessment of the habitual contact lens fluorescein pattern at the baseline visit was fair (weighted kappa = 0.382). Conclusions. Repeatability and validity of this technique were fair to excellent. Many factors influence fluorescein pattern interpretation, and improvement of the objective method of fluorescein pattern assessment by photograph readers will require improved methodology that takes these factors into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-598
Number of pages10
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001


  • Fluorescein pattern
  • Keratoconus
  • Rigid gas-permeable contact lens


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