The Relationship Between Macular Pigment Optical Density and Glaucoma

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In this prospective diagnostic case-control study, 43 patients with glaucoma and 43 health controls eye exams including ophthalmoscopy, best-corrected visual acuity, biomicroscopy, measurement of the axial length of the eye, objective refraction, lens status, central foveal thickness on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Assessment of visual field and measurement of the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) on SD-OCT were done in all patients with glaucoma. Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) was determined using the macula pigment module of the Spectralis HRA+OCT at 0.51°, 1.02° and 1.99° retinal eccentricity using 2-wavelength autofluorescence imaging.

The median visual field mean defect was 5.1 db (quartiles 3.0 and 13.5) and the mean RNFL-thickness global was 65.9 μm (SD ± 16.1) in the glaucoma groups. In the glaucoma group, median MPOD measured at 0.51° was 0.42 DU, at 1.02° it was 0.34 DU, and at 1.99° it was 0.13 DU.

In the glaucoma group and the control group, there was no significant difference in median MPOD and no significant relation between MPOD at 1.02 retinal eccentricity and the presence of glare symptoms (P = 0.948). The researchers noted that age may correlated with median MPOD measured at 1.02 retinal eccentricity (P = 0.017).

The authors concluded that additional studies are needed to investigate “the relation between glare reported by glaucoma patients and glare disability linked to lower MPOD levels.”



Bruns Y, Junker B, Boehringer D, et al. Comparison of macular pigment optical density in glaucoma patients and healthy subjects – a prospective diagnostic study. Clin Ophthalmol. 2020;14:1011-1017.

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