Purpose: Various ocular alkali burn classification schemes have been published and used to grade human chemical eye injuries for the purpose of identifying treatments and forecasting outcomes. The ILSI chemical eye injury classification scheme was developed for the additional purpose of collecting detailed human eye injury data to provide information on the mechanisms associated with chemical eye injuries. This information will have clinical application, as well as use in the development and validation of new methods to assess ocular toxicity.
Methods: A panel of ophthalmic researchers proposed the new classification scheme based upon current knowledge of the mechanisms of eye injury, and their collective clinical and research experience. Additional ophthalmologists and researchers were surveyed to critique the scheme. The draft scheme was revised, and the proposed scheme represents the best consensus from at least 23 physicians and scientists.
Results: The new scheme classifies chemical eye injury into five categories based on clinical signs, symptoms, and expected outcomes. Diagnostic classification is based primarily on two clinical endpoints: (1) the extent (area) of injury at the limbus, and (2) the degree of injury (area and depth) to the cornea.
Conclusions: The new classification scheme provides a uniform system for scoring eye injury across chemical classes, and provides enough detail for the clinician to collect data that will be relevant to identifying the mechanisms of ocular injury.