Standardizing the Assessment of Macular Pigment Using a Dual-Wavelength Autofluorescence Technique

Marina Green-Gomez, Paul S Bernstein, Christine A Curcio, Rachel Moran, Warren Roche, John M Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: It is essential to have an appropriate measure to assess macular pigment (MP) that can provide an accurate, valid, and reliable representation of the MP within the macula. The aim of this study was to describe and introduce MP optical volume (MPOV) as an optimal value for reporting MP.

METHODS: Three hundred ninety-three subjects were analyzed using the Heidelberg Spectralis with the investigational MP optical density (MPOD) module to measure MPOV and MPOD at four foveal eccentricities (0.23°, 0.51°, 0.98°, 1.76° [7° as reference point]). Lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) dietary intake and serum concentrations were evaluated.

RESULTS: MPOV mean was 5094 (95%CI, 4877-5310); range: 527 to 10,652. MPOV was inversely correlated with body mass index and positively correlated with education (r = -0.156, P = 0.002 and r = 0.124, P = 0.014, respectively). Serum concentrations of L and Z were positively correlated with MPOV (r = 0.422, P < 0.001 and r = 0.285, P < 0.001, respectively). MPOV was positively correlated to MPOD at all measured eccentricities, with the strongest agreement at 1.76° (r = 0.906, P < 0.001). Serum concentrations of L and Z, BMI, education, and age (P < 0.001) were found to be significant predictors of MPOV.

CONCLUSIONS: The Spectralis MPOV measurement provided a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the MP profile. The Spectralis MPOV should be considered a preferred metric for the assessment of MP.

TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Applying a standardized method for the assessment and report of MP will allow to fully derive meaning from observational studies and to successfully implement this MP measurement technique in research and clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Pages (from-to)41
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2019


  • Dual-wavelength autofluorescence
  • Lutein
  • Macular pigment
  • Zeaxanthin


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