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Christopher D. Conrady, James P. Bell, Brian M. Besch, Aruna Gorusupudi, Kelliann Farnsworth, Igor Ermakov, Mohsen Sharifzadeh, Maia Ermakova, Werner Gellermann, Paul S. Bernstein; Correlations Between Macular, Skin, and Serum Carotenoids. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(9):3616-3627. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-21818.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Ocular and systemic measurement and imaging of the macular carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin have been employed extensively as potential biomarkers of AMD risk. In this study, we systematically compare dual wavelength retinal autofluorescence imaging (AFI) of macular pigment with skin resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS) and serum carotenoid levels in a clinic-based population.
Eighty-eight patients were recruited from retina and general ophthalmology practices from a tertiary referral center and excluded only if they did not have all three modalities tested, had a diagnosis of macular telangiectasia (MacTel) or Stargardt disease, or had poor AFI image quality. Skin, macular, and serum carotenoid levels were measured by RRS, AFI, and HPLC, respectively.
Skin RRS measurements and serum zeaxanthin concentrations correlated most strongly with AFI macular pigment volume under the curve (MPVUC) measurements up to 9° eccentricity relative to MPVUC or rotationally averaged macular pigment optical density (MPOD) measurements at smaller eccentricities. These measurements were reproducible and not significantly affected by cataracts. We also found that these techniques could readily identify subjects taking oral carotenoid-containing supplements.
Larger macular pigment volume AFI and skin RRS measurements are noninvasive, objective, and reliable methods to assess ocular and systemic carotenoid levels. They are an attractive alternative to psychophysical and optical methods that measure MPOD at a limited number of eccentricities. Consequently, skin RRS and MPVUC at 9° are both reasonable biomarkers of macular carotenoid status that could be readily adapted to research and clinical settings.
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