Foveal Anatomic Associations with the Secondary Peak and the Slope of the Macular Pigment Spatial Profile.

Mark L. Kirby, Martin Galea, Edward Loane, Jim Stack, Stephen Beatty, John M. Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To investigate the reproducibility of the macular pigment (MP) spatial profile by using heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP) and to relate the MP spatial profile to foveal architecture. METHODS. Sixteen healthy subjects (nine had the typical exponential MP spatial profile [group 1]; seven had a secondary peak MP spatial profile [group 2]) were recruited. The MP spatial profile was measured on three separate occasions. Six radiance measurements were obtained at each locus (0.25° , 0.5° , 1° , and 1.75° eccentricity; reference point, 7°). Foveal architecture was assessed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). RESULTS. Subjects who had the typical decline profile, had this profile after averaging repeated measures (group 1). Subjects who had a secondary peak, displayed the secondary peak after repeated measures were averaged (group 2). Mean SD foveal width in group 1 was significantly narrower than mean SD foveal width in group 2 (1306 ± 240 μm and 1915 ± 161 μm, respectively; P < 0.01). This difference remained after adjustment for sex (P < 0.001). Foveal width was significantly related to mean foveal MP, with adjustment for sex (r = 0.588, P = 0.021). Foveal profile slope was significantly related to MP spatial profile slope, after removal of an outlier (r = 0.591, P = 0.020). CONCLUSIONS. HFP reproducibly measures MP spatial profile. Secondary peaks seen in the MP spatial profile cannot be attributed to measurement error and are associated with wider foveas. The slope of an individual's MP spatial profile is related to foveal slope, with a steeper MP distribution associated with a steeper foveal depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1391
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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