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Thomas A. Ciulla, Billy R. Hammond, Chi Wah Yung, Linda M. Pratt; Macular Pigment Optical Density before and after Cataract Extraction. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(6):1338-1341.
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purpose. Psychophysical methods of measuring macular pigment (MP) use
comparisons of short- and midwave light in the fovea and parafovea to
derive optical density estimates. This light must pass through the
crystalline lens before absorption by the MPs can occur. The effect of
lens absorption on these measures has not been adequately determined.
The present study assesses the influence of lens absorption on MP
measurements by comparing MP optical density (MPOD) measured before and
after cataract extraction.
methods. MPOD was measured using flicker photometry in free view at 458 nm with
a 1° stimulus. Twenty-nine eyes from 24 patients with cataracts
sufficiently severe to require cataract extraction were evaluated.
results. In the entire group of 24 patients, the mean (±SD) age measured
68.7 ± 9.5 years, and the mean MPOD measured 0.19 ± 0.11.
For all 29 eyes measured, MPOD averaged 0.206 ± 0.13
before and 0.18 ± 0.12 after cataract extraction. MPOD
measurements at the two time points (mean 8.1 ± 4.7 weeks after
surgery) were highly correlated (r = +0.58), suggesting
that a cataractous lens does not influence the MP measurement
conclusions. Psychophysical techniques can be used to obtain reliable measurements
of MP in elderly subjects, even in those with cataracts. Moreover,
differences in retinal illuminance due to varying opaqueness of the
crystalline lens do not seem to have a measurable influence on
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