Macular pigment (MP) has been suggested to have a protective role in age-related macular degeneration by reducing the amount of oxidative stress on the retina. MP levels peak at the foveal center, where it is found predominantly in the receptor axon and inner plexiform layers of the retina. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between central retinal thickness and macular pigment optical density in a group of healthy subjects.
We report that macular pigment optical density (MPOD) has a significant and positive relationship with central retinal thickness as measured by optical coherence tomography. The strength of the observed relationship (r∼0.30) was independent of the technique used to measure MPOD, whether heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP) or 2-wavelength autofluorescence (AF). Of note, there was no statistically demonstrable relationship between MPOD at an eccentricity of 1- or 2-degrees and central retinal thickness. This finding has important implications for future studies investigating MPOD, and its response to dietary modification/supplementation.