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Comparison of Macular Pigment Optical Density in Glaucoma Patients and Healthy Subjects – A Prospective Diagnostic Study

Authors Bruns Y, Junker B, Boehringer D, Framme C, Pielen A

Received 23 July 2019

Accepted for publication 27 February 2020

Published 1 April 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 1011—1017

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S224259

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Yannick Bruns,1,* Bernd Junker,1,* Daniel Boehringer,2 Carsten Framme,1 Amelie Pielen1

1University Eye Hospital, Hannover Medical School, Hannover 30625, Germany; 2Clinic for Ophthalmology, University of Freiburg Faculty of Medicine, Freiburg 79106, Germany

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Yannick Bruns
University Eye Hospital, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, Hannover 30625, Germany
Tel +4915117677363
Email bruns.yannick@mh-hannover.de

Purpose: To evaluate the relationship between macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and glaucoma.
Methods: Forty-three patients with an established glaucoma diagnosis (25 females, 18 males, mean age 70 (range 34– 84)) and 43 healthy controls (28 females, 15 males, mean age 62 (range 30– 87)) were included in this prospective diagnostic case-control study. All subjects underwent detailed eye examination 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). In all glaucoma patients, a visual field assessment and a measurement of the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) on SD-OCT were done. MPOD was determined using the macula pigment module of the Spectralis HRA+OCT (Heidelberg Engineering GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany) at 0.51°, 1.02° and 1.99° retinal eccentricity using two-wavelength autofluorescence imaging.
Results: In the glaucoma group, the median of the 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). Median MPOD measured at 0.51°, 1.02° and 1.99° retinal eccentricity in the glaucoma group was 0.42 DU, 0.34 DU and 0.13 DU, in the control group 0.40 DU, 0.35 DU and 0.12 DU respectively. There was no statistically significant difference of median MPOD between glaucomatous and control eyes (p=0.510, 0.735, 0.481). No significant relation between MPOD at 1.02 retinal eccentricity and the presence of glare symptoms was found (p=0.948). However, age seems to correlate with median MPOD measured at 1.02 retinal eccentricity (p=0.017).
Conclusion: There was no evidence for lower MPOD levels in our glaucoma patients; lower MPOD was not related to the presence of glare symptoms. However there seems to be a positive correlation between age and MPOD at 1.02° retinal eccentricity. To further investigate the relation between glare reported by glaucoma patients and glare disability linked to lower MPOD levels, additional studies are necessary that include both detailed inquiry of the quality of glare and a glare quantification and precise analysis of MPOD levels in glaucoma patients.

Keywords: glaucoma, macular pigment optical density, glare, case-control study


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