Macular Telangiectasia Type 2 Decreases Macular Pigment Optical Density Values

Retinal scan testing for glaucoma. Woman with her head resting in a machine (left) being used by an ophthalmologist (right) to scan the retinas of her eyes and examine them for signs of glaucoma. The retina is the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye responsible for vision. Glaucoma is a build-up of pressure inside the eye causing blurring and blindness. The technique in use here is optical coherence tomography (OCT) using a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) device. This machine is from the Optovue company. The results of the scan are shown on the screens and in image C028/1548.
Macular pigment levels are linked with inner retinal cavities, ellipsoid zone disruption, the study shows.

Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) values as measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT) can vary between patients with macular telangiectasia (MacTel) type 2, according to results of a prospective cross-sectional study, published in BMC Ophthalmology. The publication shows that MacTel type 2 decreases MPOD values.  The study also shows that macular pigment levels are associated with both inner retinal cavities and ellipsoid zone disruption.

Patients who attended an outpatient medical exam at the Shri Bhagwan Mahavir Department of Vitreoretinal Services in India between 2019 and 2021 were included in this study. Eyes from healthy participants (n=31; n=60 eyes) and patients diagnosed with MacTel type 2 (n=22; n=41 eyes) were evaluated on OCT.

The healthy and MacTel type 2 cohorts were 61.29% and 81.81% women, aged mean 39.10±12.74 and 58.09±10.19 years (P <.001), and best-corrected visual acuity was 20/20 and 20/80, respectively.

Mean MPOD was higher among the controls at 1° foveal eccentricity (mean, 0.38 vs −0.11 du; P <.001) as was mean pigment optical volume (MPOV; mean, 792.25 vs −211.63 dud2; P <.001). Similar trends in MPOD and MPOV were observed at 2° and 6° eccentricities, in which healthy subjects had higher values at all areas (all P <.001).

Among the MacTel Type 2 group, MPOD differed significantly at peripheral and central regions in stages two and three (mean, 0.04 vs −0.02 du; P =.001), for the peripheral region in stages two and three compared with stages four and five (mean, 0.04 vs 0.07 du; P =.011), and in the central region in stages two and three compared with stages four and five (mean, −0.02 vs 0.02 du; P =.020). No significant difference in peripheral and central regions were observed in stages four and five (mean, 0.07 vs 0.02 du; P =.449).

Mean MPOD in the central region was observed to correspond with inner retinal cavities (P =.035) and ellipsoid zone disruption (P =.034) during OCT examination.

This study may have been limited by the age and gender imbalances among the cohorts and by not evaluating dietary information.

These data indicated that MPOD distribution varied in spatial profiles and was associated with inner retinal cavities and ellipsoid zone disruption among patients with MacTel type 2.


Srinivasan R, Teussink MM, Sloan KR, Bharat RPK, Narayanan R, Raman R. Distribution of macular pigments in macular telangiectasia type 2 and correlation with optical coherence tomography characteristics and visual acuity. BMC Ophthalmol. 2022;22(1):264. doi:10.1186/s12886-022-02483-y