The assessment of paediatric macular pigment optical density

  • Michael Hope

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisOphthalmic Doctorate


Purpose: Dry age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the UK's leading cause of visual loss. Dry AMD accounts for approximately 90% of the 600,000 people affected by AMD in the UK. Macular pigment (MP) is believed to play a significant role in mitigating the onset and progression of AMD. Data available for paediatric MP is lacking, particularly in western ethnic populations.

Method: This thesis set out to investigate macular pigment optical density (MPOD) at the early stage of life, to assist in understanding the evolution of MPOD in the human life span. The Visucam 200 (an objective technique) and the MPS 9000 (a subjective technique) were used to collect data on subjects aged 4-16 years.

Results: The Visucam, a device which measures MPOD with an automated technique, produced consistently more repeatable measures than those recorded with the MPS. Paediatric MPOD was not significantly correlated with age, iris colour, refractive error or gender. Assessment of paediatric MPOD with the MPS did not show any correlation to lutein levels recorded in a three day diet history. Paediatric mean MPOD was found to be, Visucam
0.40 (SO 0.08) and MPS 0.43 (SO 0.13).

Conclusions: Paediatric MPOD as determined by objective and subjective measures yield similar values. The mean MPOD value was similar to adult MPOD levels as determined by previous adult based MPOD studies. This could infer MPOD levels develop to adult levels prior to the age of five years·.
Date of AwardOct 2017
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorFrank Eperjesi (Supervisor)


  • Correlation coefficient
  • Visucam.
  • MPS
  • macular pigment
  • optical density

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