Expert agreement in evaluating the optic disc for glaucoma

Ophthalmology. 1992 Feb;99(2):215-21. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(92)31990-6.


The authors studied intraobserver and interobserver agreement, under monoscopic and stereoscopic conditions, in estimating vertical cup-to-disc ratios and in assessing whether a disc had glaucomatous damage. Six glaucoma experts evaluated 75 optic disc photographs under both viewing conditions. The experts also re-evaluated 25 photographs. Intraobserver agreement in estimating vertical cup-to disc ratios was high (median weighted kappa, 0.79). Interobserver agreement in estimating vertical cup-to-disc ratios was moderate (stereoscopic median weighted kappa, 0.67); individual experts differed by as much as 0.2 disc diameters (DD) monoscopically and 0.16 DD stereoscopically. The observers estimated larger vertical cup-to-disc ratios when evaluating the same discs under stereoscopic conditions than under monoscopic conditions. Intraobserver agreement in assessing glaucomatous disc damage was substantial (median kappa, 0.76). Interobserver agreement in assessing glaucomatous damage was moderate (stereoscopic median kappa, 0.50). This study confirms the ability of experts to reliably evaluate the optic disc within themselves and emphasizes the need for developing standardized methods for interobserver evaluation of the optic disc in glaucoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / congenital
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis*
  • Glaucoma / pathology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / diagnosis*
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Optic Disk / pathology*
  • Photography
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vision Tests / standards