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elisa cozzi, Alba Xhepa, Maria Belotti, Chiara Mancinelli, Silvia Rosa, Mario Cigada, Leonardo Pantoni, Ruggero Capra, Giovanni Staurenghi; Macular Pigment In Multiple Sclerosis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):1873.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Several studies have reported the thinning of certain retinal layers in multiple sclerosis (MS). To date there are no studies on Müller cells, the main glial cells in the retina, that play a crucial role in storage and metabolism of macular xanthophylls. With this prospective non-interventional study we compared macular pigment optical density (MPOD) in MS patients with a control group.
We enrolled 49 patients with diagnosed MS and 51 healthy controls. Patients with retinal disorders or media opacity were excluded. Each subject underwent a slit lamp examination, visual acuity test, Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Blue Autofluorescence (BAF) and Green Autofluorescence (GAF) using Spectralis HRA+OCT (Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany). MPOD is obtained as the difference between BAF and GAF images and measured in density units (d.u.). MPOD values were recorded at different degrees of eccentricity from the fovea (peak, 0 °, 0.5 °, 1 °, 2 °). MPOD values of MS patients and healthy controls were compared.
Mean age of patients with MS and healthy controls was 42.5 ± 11.6 and 40.5 ± 13.9 respectively. There was a predominance of females in both groups (69% of MS patients and 74% of controls). MPOD values were lower in MS than in healthy controls. In particular, mean MPOD values were 0.58 d.u. in the study group and 0.68 d.u. in control group at 0° of eccentricity from the fovea. At peak, mean MPOD values were 0.62 d.u. in patients and 0.70 d.u. in controls. The difference of MPOD values between the two groups was statistically significant at 0° and at peak (P<0.001 at 0° and P<0.05 at peak). Moving from the fovea to periphery, the difference of MPOD values between cases and controls lost statistical significance. A linear regression was performed to relate disease duration and MPOD values, but no correlation was found (P=0.41).
Although MPOD reduction is reported in several diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, to date there is no data about macular pigment in MS. Our results tried to shed some light on this aspect. A reduction of macular pigment possibly reflects Müller cells’ disfunction in a neurologic disorder where glial cells represent one of the targets of the disease. This finding could expand the knowledge on the pathogenesis of MS and could represent a new biomarker for this disease.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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