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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Stephen A. Burns
  • Vol. 23, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 2006
  • pp: 2373–2387

Nonmydriatic fluorescence-based quantitative imaging of human macular pigment distributions

Mohsen Sharifzadeh, Paul S. Bernstein, and Werner Gellermann  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 23, Issue 10, pp. 2373-2387 (2006)

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We have developed a CCD-camera-based nonmydriatic instrument that detects fluorescence from retinal lipofuscin chromophores ("autofluorescence") as a means to indirectly quantify and spatially image the distribution of macular pigment (MP). The lipofuscin fluorescence intensity is reduced at all retinal locations containing MP, since MP has a competing absorption in the blue-green wavelength region. Projecting a large diameter, 488 nm excitation spot onto the retina, centered on the fovea, but extending into the macular periphery, and comparing lipofuscin fluorescence intensities outside and inside the foveal area, it is possible to spatially map out the distribution of MP. Spectrally selective detection of the lipofuscin fluorescence reveals an important wavelength dependence of the obtainable image contrast and deduced MP optical density levels, showing that it is important to block out interfering fluorescence contributions in the detection setup originating from ocular media such as the lens. Measuring 70 healthy human volunteer subjects with no ocular pathologies, we find widely varying spatial extent of MP, distinctly differing distribution patterns of MP, and strongly differing absolute MP levels among individuals. Our population study suggests that MP imaging based on lipofuscin fluorescence is useful as a relatively simple, objective, and quantitative noninvasive optical technique suitable to rapidly screen MP levels and distributions in healthy humans with undilated pupils.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(170.1610) Medical optics and biotechnology : Clinical applications
(170.3890) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics instrumentation
(170.4580) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical diagnostics for medicine
(300.6450) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, Raman
(330.4300) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision system - noninvasive assessment

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: October 25, 2005
Revised Manuscript: April 19, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: April 25, 2006

Virtual Issues
Vol. 1, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Mohsen Sharifzadeh, Paul S. Bernstein, and Werner Gellermann, "Nonmydriatic fluorescence-based quantitative imaging of human macular pigment distributions," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 2373-2387 (2006)

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