University Of Tasmania

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The use of heterochromatic flicker photometry to determine macular pigment optical density in a healthy Australian population

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 22:56 authored by Abell, RG, Alexander HewittAlexander Hewitt, Andric, M, Allen, PL, Verma, N

Purpose: To establish the normal macular pigment density (MPOD) in a healthy adult Australian sample using heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP).

Methods: Macular pigment density was measured using heterochromatic flicker photometry in a total of 201 subjects ranging in age from 21 to 84 years with healthy macula. Fifty-seven of the healthy subjects also completed a food-frequency dietary questionnaire. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was measured using logMAR, chart and macular morphological profiles were assessed using high-resolution integrated Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT).

Results: The average MPOD value was 0.41 ± 0.20 (range 0.07–0.79). There was no statistically significant difference between values in the left and right eye, with good interocular agreement (0.41 vs 0.40, r  =  0.893, p  <  0.01). Age significantly predicted MPOD score (R2  =  0.07, p  <  0.05). A subgroup analysis of patients who completed the dietary questionnaire revealed a close correlation between higher diet scores and higher MPOD (r  =  0.720, p  =  0.031). There was no effect of smoking, gender, or iris colour on MPOD values. There was no significant correlation between BCVA, macular OCT profiles, and MPOD.

Conclusion: Given that MPOD values are potentially affected by geographical variation, we have determined a mean MPOD value for healthy subjects in a population south of the equator, providing a reference point for future studies on Caucasian samples.


Publication title

Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology








Menzies Institute for Medical Research



Place of publication

175 Fifth Ave, New York, USA, Ny, 10010

Rights statement

Copyright 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified