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A. Obana, Y. Gohto, T. Hiramitsu, T. Hirano, Y. Hotta, A. Ohira, K. Iseki, S. Mizuno, H. Fujii, P.S. Bernstein; Resonance Raman Spectroscopic Measurement of Macular Carotenoids in Japanese Patients With Age–Related Maculopathy . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5663.
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Low carotenoid levels in the macula are considered a risk factor for AMD. In the previous study, we reported that macular carotenoids were declined with age in healthy Japanese. In the present study, we measured macular carotenoids in the eyes of patients with age–related maculopathy, and compared with those of healthy eyes.
Macular lutein and zeaxanthin levels were measured by resonance Raman spectroscopy in 41 patients with early age–related maculopathy(ARM) and 55 patients with advanced age–related macular degeneration(AMD). In parallel, carotenoids levels were measured in 40 healthy volunteers aged older than 50 years. The study was performed under the approval of the IRB in Seirei Hamamatsu General Hospital, and all subjects signed informed consent forms that complied with the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.
The mean lutein and zeaxanthin level of healthy volunteers was 961±360(SD) Raman counts. The levels in ARM and AMD patients were 540±184 and 365±252 Raman counts respectively. The levels of ARM and AMD patients were significantly lower than those of healthy volunteers (p<0.0001). There were no significant differences among degeneration types (exudative, atrophic, disciform scar), but patients with poor visual acuity had a tendency to have lower carotenoid levels.
Macular carotenoid levels were measured objectively in Japanese patients for the first time. The tendency of macular Raman measurements to decline with the progression of maculopathy, suggests the role of carotenoids on the protection of age–related maculopathy.
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