This simple laboratory study would be expected to maximize agreement relative to clinical practice. Although non-color-blind female observers significantly outperformed non-color-blind male observers, both intraobserver agreement and interobserver agreement for xanthochromia were prohibitively poor regardless of sex or illumination. Yellow was most frequently misclassified, 88% as clear (ie, true positives were commuted to false negatives). Xanthochromia is therefore highly unreliable for subarachnoid hemorrhage diagnosis and computed tomography validation. The Walton rule requires urgent clinical revalidation.