A system for classifying mechanical injuries of the eye (globe). The Ocular Trauma Classification Group

Am J Ophthalmol. 1997 Jun;123(6):820-31. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)71132-8.


Purpose: To develop a classification system for mechanical injuries of the eye.

Methods: The Ocular Trauma Classification Group, a committee of 13 ophthalmologists from seven separate institutions, was organized to discuss the standardization of ocular trauma classification. To develop the classification system, the group reviewed trauma classification systems in ophthalmology and general medicine and, in detail, reports on the characteristics and outcomes of eye trauma, then established a classification system based on standard terminology and features of eye injuries at initial examination that have demonstrated prognostic significance.

Results: This system classifies both open-globe and closed-globe injuries according to four separate variables: type of injury, based on the mechanism of injury; grade of injury, defined by visual acuity in the injured eye at initial examination; pupil, defined as the presence or absence of a relative afferent pupillary defect in the injured eye; and zone of injury, based on the anteroposterior extent of the injury. This system is designed to be used by ophthalmologists and nonophthalmologists who care for patients or conduct research on ocular injuries. An ocular injury is classified during the initial examination or at the time of the primary surgical intervention and does not require extraordinary testing.

Conclusions: This classification system will categorize ocular injuries at the time of initial examination. It is designed to promote the use of standard terminology and assessment, with applications to clinical management and research stud ies regarding eye injuries.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eye Foreign Bodies / classification
  • Eye Injuries / classification*
  • Eye Injuries, Penetrating / classification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmology / standards*
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • Trauma Severity Indices*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / classification*