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M.R. Heldner, N. Röösli, E. Weyermann, S. Rothenbühler, U.E. Schnurrbusch, S. Wolf; Macular Pigment Distribution in ARM Patients with Normal and with High Blood Cholesterol . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):2126.
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Neither the etiology nor the natural history of age–related maculopathy (ARM) and age–related macular degeneration (ARMD) is clearly known. Epidemiologic studies suggest that the number of risk factors may be associated with ARM. Possibly associated with ARM are personal characteristics e.g. race, age, smoking, and cardiovascular diseases. In addition recent studies indicate that the density of macular pigment (MP) may play a central role in development and progression of ARM. In this study we investigate central MP density and the different pattern of MP distribution in ARM patients with normal versus with high blood cholesterol.
All Patients 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. The stage of disease was classified according to the AREDS classification. MP density values of ARM patients with normal blood cholesterol (group 1) and ARM patients with high blood cholesterol (group 2) were compared. 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.
We included 79 patients (34 m, 45 f) aged from 50 to 71 (mean: 54.6 ± 3.7) into this study. The mean MPD was 0.49 ± 0.22 D.U.. Patients with normal blood cholesterol (group 1: n=42) had significant higher MP density values (0.54 ± 0.21 D.U. vs. 0.32 ± 0.19 D.U. ; p<0.01) than patients with high blood cholesterol (group 2: n=37). The distribution of MP showed two main types: central peak and parafoveal ring. There were no differences in the distribution pattern among ARM patients with normal (central peak 47% vs. parafoveal ring 53%) and high blood cholesterol (central peak 49% vs. parafoveal ring 51%).
Our study in patients with ARM and different blood cholesterol level show significant differences in central macular pigment density values. A possible predictive interpretation of our results has to be investigated in further studies.
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