Human macular pigment assessed by imaging fundus reflectometry

Vision Res. 1989;29(6):663-74. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(89)90028-x.


A computerized, television-based, imaging fundus reflectometer was used to obtain estimates of the spatial distribution of macular pigment (xanthophylls) from seven normal subjects. Digitized images of the bleached macula of each subject were acquired at illuminating wavelengths from 462 to 697 nm. An analysis of spectral reflectances indicated that differences in short-wavelength reflectance between the foveal center and parafovea were influenced by spatial variations in melanin and oxyhemoglobin absorption as well as by the distribution of macular pigment. To provide an estimate of the spatial distribution of macular pigment alone, we have corrected fundus images obtained at 462 nm for the effect of melanin and oxyhemoglobin absorption. The spatial variation in macular pigment double density across the horizontal and vertical meridians of the retina was well described by Gaussian functions. The peak double densities for the individual subjects ranged from 0.22 to 0.45 and the standard deviations of the Gaussian functions averaged approx. 1 degree.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analog-Digital Conversion
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Lutein / analysis*
  • Macula Lutea / analysis*
  • Male
  • Melanins / analysis
  • Oxyhemoglobins / analysis
  • Retinal Pigments / analysis*
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Television


  • Melanins
  • Oxyhemoglobins
  • Retinal Pigments
  • Lutein