The value of measurement of macular carotenoid pigment optical densities and distributions in age-related macular degeneration and other retinal disorders

Vision Res. 2010 Mar 31;50(7):716-28. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2009.10.014. Epub 2009 Oct 23.


There is increasing recognition that the optical and antioxidant properties of the xanthophyll carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin play an important role in maintaining the health and function of the human macula. In this review article, we assess the value of non-invasive quantification of macular pigment levels and distributions to identify individuals potentially at risk for visual disability or catastrophic vision loss from age-related macular degeneration, and we consider the strengths and weaknesses of the diverse measurement methods currently available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lutein / blood
  • Macular Degeneration / blood
  • Macular Degeneration / metabolism*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / chemistry*
  • Retinal Diseases / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Xanthophylls / blood
  • Zeaxanthins


  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • Carotenoids
  • Lutein