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PURPOSE: To compare the macular pigment optical density (MPOD) of patients with unilateral wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with the MPOD of bilateral dry AMD patients and healthy elderly individuals. METHODS: The MPOD of 34 patients with unilateral wet AMD was measured in their fellow eye that had the dry form of the disease (study group). The MPOD of the study group was compared with the MPOD of 33 patients with bilateral dry AMD (patients' control group) and 35 elderly subjects without any signs of retinal disease (control group). None of the subjects was under carotenoid supplementation. The MPOD was measured with Heterochromatic Flicker Photometry [QuantifEYE™- MPS 9000 (ZeaVision(©))]. The statistical package SPSS v 17.0 was used for the analysis. RESULTS: The overall mean MPOD was 0.52 (SD 0.15). Patients with unilateral wet AMD have significantly higher levels of MPOD in their fellow eye compared with patients with bilateral dry AMD (0.58 versus 0.48, p = 0.026). Mean MPOD of patients with bilateral dry AMD does not differ significantly from that of healthy elderly subjects (0.48 versus 0.50, p = 0.865). In this population sample, no correlation with age was observed, while women have slightly but significantly higher levels of MPOD (0.55 versus 0.49, p = 0.029). CONCLUSION: In the present study, the mean MPOD at the fellow eye of patients with unilateral wet AMD was found to be significantly higher than that of patients with bilateral dry AMD, while no other significant difference emerged between groups. Further investigation is demanded to clarify the role of macular pigment in AMD progression.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta ophthalmol

Publication Date





e573 - e578


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Disease Progression, Female, Geographic Atrophy, Humans, Intraocular Pressure, Lutein, Male, Middle Aged, Photometry, Retinal Pigments, Visual Acuity, Wet Macular Degeneration, Xanthophylls, Zeaxanthins