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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002 Jun;43(6):1928-32.

Macular pigment and melanin in age-related maculopathy in a general population.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



It has been suggested that macular pigment (MP) and melanin may protect against age-related maculopathy (ARM). To check this, MP and melanin optical density were measured in a random population-based sample of subjects 55 years of age or older.


Spectral fundus reflectance of the fovea was measured in one eye per subject in a 2.3 degrees detection field with a fundus reflectometer. The sample consisted of 199 men and 236 women. Analysis with a fundus reflectance model yielded individual estimates for the MP and melanin optical density. Diagnosis of ARM was based on grading of standardized fundus transparencies. Eyes were stratified in four exclusive stages of ARM.


MP optical density (at 460 nm) was 0.33 +/- 0.15 in eyes without ARM (n = 289) and 0.33 +/- 0.16 in eyes at any stage of ARM (n = 146). Melanin optical density (at 500 nm) was 1.18 +/- 0.19 in eyes without ARM and 1.20 +/- 0.21 in eyes at any stage of ARM. We found no gender differences for either MP or melanin optical density.


No differences in MP and melanin optical density were found between eyes with and without ARM or between the various ARM stages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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