Grading diabetic retinopathy from stereoscopic color fundus photographs--an extension of the modified Airlie House classification. ETDRS report number 10. Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Research Group

Ophthalmology. 1991 May;98(5 Suppl):786-806.


The modified Airlie House classification of diabetic retinopathy has been extended for use in the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS). The revised classification provides additional steps in the grading scale for some characteristics, separates other characteristics previously combined, expands the section on macular edema, and adds several characteristics not previously graded. The classification is described and illustrated and its reproducibility between graders is assessed by calculating percentages of agreement and kappa statistics for duplicate gradings of baseline color nonsimultaneous stereoscopic fundus photographs. For retinal hemorrhages and/or microaneurysms, hard exudates, new vessels, fibrous proliferations, and macular edema, agreement was substantial (weighted kappa, 0.61 to 0.80). For soft exudates, intraretinal microvascular abnormalities, and venous beading, agreement was moderate (weighted kappa, 0.41 to 0.60). A double grading system, with adjudication of disagreements of two or more steps between duplicate gradings, led to some improvement in reproducibility for most characteristics.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm / pathology
  • Color
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / classification*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / pathology
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photography*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinal Artery / pathology
  • Retinal Diseases / pathology
  • Retinal Drusen / pathology
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Retinal Vein / pathology