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Billy R. Wooten, Billy R. Hammond, Richard I. Land, D. Max Snodderly; A Practical Method for Measuring Macular Pigment Optical Density. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(11):2481-2489.
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purpose. Increasing evidence indicates that the macular pigments (MP) protect
the central retina and may retard macular disease. For that
reason, a practical method for measuring MP that does not require
elaborate optics and can be applied to diverse populations by operators
with a modest amount of experience was developed and validated.
methods. A small tabletop device based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as the
light source with electronic controls was constructed. Macular pigment
was measured with the tabletop device with a 1° test stimulus at 460
nm using heterochromatic flicker photometry, and the results were
compared with measurements using a traditional three-channel Maxwellian
view system with a xenon-arc source.
results. Macular pigment density of 30 subjects (age range, 16–60 years) was
measured with both stimulus systems. Macular pigment measured with the
LED tabletop device in free view was highly correlated with MP measured
in Maxwellian view (y = −0.03 + 1.06x, r = +0.95). The average absolute difference between
the two techniques was 0.04 (SD, 0.03). The new technique was not
significantly affected by variations in lens optical density, pupil
size, or small head movements.
conclusions. Psychophysical measurement of MP provides a unique opportunity to
make repeated noninvasive assessment of the concentration of a
protective nutrient in the retina. The availability of this new device
should make this measurement technology accessible to a wide variety of
investigators for application to diverse
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