Macular thickness by age and gender in healthy eyes using spectral domain optical coherence tomography

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37638. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037638. Epub 2012 May 21.


Purpose: To determine normal macular thickness and its variation by age and gender in healthy eyes using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).

Methods: In this cross-sectional analysis, two hundred and twenty eyes of 220 healthy subjects underwent raster scanning using Topcon SD-OCT system, at the Department of Ophthalmology, Dow University of Health Sciences and Civil Hospital Karachi, Pakistan. Macular thickness from all 9 regions of the ETDRS map was documented for each subject. Variations in macular thickness measurements by age and gender were determined.

Results: The 220 subjects had a mean age of 45.3 years (16-80 years). Using the ETDRS map, foveal thickness for all subjects was measured to be 229±20.46 µm. Mean macular thickness for all subjects was 262.8±13.34 µm. Male gender was associated with greater foveal (p<0.0001) and mean macular (p<0.0001) thickness compared to females. There was no association of mean macular thickness (r(2) = 0.01; p>0.05) and foveal thickness (r(2) = 0.00004; p>0.05) with age.

Conclusion: We have provided normative data for macular thickness using Topcon SD-OCT system. Our results are comparable to some and vary from other reports using the similar OCT system. Our results suggest that male gender is associated with greater macular thickness, while macular thickness has no association with age in healthy eyes. This is the first normative data for macular thickness from Pakistan; benchmark for diagnosing and monitoring macular pathologies. The values obtained in this study may be useful for comparison with other populations, other SD-OCT systems and future imaging technologies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fovea Centralis / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence