Abnormal macular pigment distribution in type 2 idiopathic macular telangiectasia

Retina. 2008 Jun;28(6):808-16. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e31816d81aa.


Purpose: To determine the distribution of macular pigment in type 2 idiopathic macular telangiectasia (IMT).

Methods: Twenty-two eyes of 12 patients with type 2 IMT were examined by means of best-corrected visual acuity testing, fundus biomicroscopy, fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography. Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) was assessed using a modified confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope whereby MPOD was calculated from fundus autofluorescence images acquired at two different excitation wavelengths (488 and 514 nm). The results were verified with a method that provides density maps after digital subtraction of log fundus reflectance maps (four patients) and by means of heterochromatic flicker photometry (four patients).

Results: MOPD distribution showed an abnormal pattern for all patients with type 2 IMT. In correspondence to the late-phase hyperfluorescent areas shown by fluorescein angiography, MPOD was reduced in the macular area, while there was preserved MPOD at 5 degrees to 7 degrees eccentricity.

Conclusions: The central depletion of macular pigment represents a novel phenotypic characteristic of type 2 IMT. Recording of macular pigment distribution may prove useful in the diagnosis of type 2 IMT and implicates an impaired trafficking or storage of lutein and zeaxanthin in the disease process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Lutein / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Acoustic
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Retinal Diseases / classification
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Retinal Diseases / metabolism*
  • Retinal Pigments / metabolism*
  • Retinal Vessels / metabolism*
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology
  • Telangiectasis / classification
  • Telangiectasis / diagnosis
  • Telangiectasis / metabolism*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Visual Acuity
  • Xanthophylls / metabolism*
  • Zeaxanthins


  • Retinal Pigments
  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • Lutein