A novel scale for describing visual outcomes in patients following resection of lesions affecting the optic apparatus: the Unified Visual Function Scale
Journal of Neurosurgery, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVEHistorically, descriptions of visual acuity and visual field change following intracranial procedures have been very rudimentary. Clinicians and researchers have often used basic descriptions, such as “improved,” “worsened,” and “unchanged,” to describe outcomes following resections of tumors affecting the optic apparatus. These descriptors are vague, difficult to quantify, and challenging to apply in a clinical perspective. Several groups have attempted to combine visual acuity and visual fields into a single assessment score, but these are not user-friendly. The authors present a novel way to describe a patient’s visual function as a combination of visual acuity and visual field assessment that is simple to use and can be used by surgeons and researchers to gauge visual outcomes following tumor resection.METHODSVisual acuity and visual fields were combined into 3 categories designed around the definitions of legal blindness and fitness to drive in Canada. The authors then applied the scale (the Unified Visual Function Scale, or UVFS) to their previously published case series of perisellar meningiomas to document and test overall visual outcomes for patients undergoing tumor resection. The results were compared with previously documented visual loss scales in the literature.RESULTSUsing the UVFS the authors were able to capture the overall visual change; the scale was sensitive enough to define the overall visual improvement or worsening quantitatively, using categories that are clinically relevant and understandable.CONCLUSIONSThe UVFS is a robust way to assess a patient’s vision, combining visual fields and acuity. The implementation of pre- and postoperative assessment is sensitive enough to assess overall change while also providing clinically relevant information for surgeons, and allows for comparisons between treatment groups.