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U.E. Schnurrbusch, M.R. Heldner, E. Weyermann, N. Röösli, G.–M. Sarra, S. Wolf; Macular Pigment Distribution in Patients With Age–Related Maculopathy . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):2122.
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Recent studies indicate that the density of macular pigment (MP) may play a central role in development and progression of age–related maculopathy (ARM). Epidemiologic studies suggest that the number of risk factors may be associated with personal characteristics, such as age, race, family history, and ocular characteristics. Previously, we have shown that central macular pigment density (MPD) is similar in patients with ARM and healthy controls, but we found a large variation in MP distribution. In this study we investigate the different pattern of MP distribution and their relation to central MPD.
Patients with ARM underwent MP density measurements (MPD) with a modified confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (HRA, Heidelberg Engineering, Germany) following a standard protocol. Inclusion criteria included age above 50 years, the presence of drusen in at least one eye, no evidence of advanced ARMD in the study eye, and no other concomitant eye disease. MPD maps were calculated from autofluorescence images recorded at 488 nm and 514 nm. MPD was quantified from MPD maps within 0.5 degrees around the centre of the fovea. The stage of disease was classified according to the AREDS classification.
We included 126 patients (41 m, 85 f) aged from 50 to 91 (mean: 56.6 ± 2.4) into this study. The mean MPD was 0.50 ± 0.21 D.U.. The distribution of MP showed two main types: (1) central peak, (2) parafoveal ring. Females showed significant more frequent a parafoveal ring (80% vs. 56%; p<0.01) than males. Subjects with a central peak had significant lower MPD values than subjects with a paracentral ring (0.38 ± 0.22 D.U. vs 0.54 ± 0.19 D.U.
Our study in patients with ARM confirms previous work (Delori et al.) showing different pattern of macular pigment distribution. A parafoveal ring in macular pigment distribution is more frequent in females and associated with increased MPD. The association of different distribution pattern with disease progression needs further studies.
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