Purpose: Of the antioxidants found in the human retina, only the macular carotenoid quantities can be estimated noninvasively (albeit in a collective fashion), thus facilitating study of their role in that tissue. The aim of this study was to evaluate concordance between macular pigment optical density (MPOD) values recorded on a commercially available instrument, the MPS 9000, with those of an already validated heterochromatic flicker photometry instrument. Also, we assessed and compared test–retest variability for each instrument.
Methods: Macular pigment optical density at 0.5 retinal eccentricity was measured using two different heterochromatic flicker photometers, the MPS 9000 and the Macular DensitometerTM, in 39 healthy subjects. Test–retest variability was evaluated separately for each instrument by taking three readings over a 1-week period in 25 subjects.
Results: There was a moderate positive correlation for MPOD at 0.5° of retinal eccentricity between the MPS 9000 and the Macular Densitometer described by the linear equation y = 0.763x + 0.172 (r = 0.68, p < 0.001, r2 = 0.46); however, a paired-samples t-test showed a significant difference in terms of mean values, with a bias of lower MPOD values being yielded by the MPS 9000 (t = −4.103, p < 0.001). Bland–Altman analysis indicated only moderate agreement between the two instruments, reflected in 95% limits of agreement of 0.1 ± 0.27. Inter-sessional repeatability, expressed as a coefficient of repeatability, ranged from 0.18 to 0.21 [mean (±SD): 0.19 (0.02)] for the MPS 9000 and from 0.11 to 0.12 [mean (±SD): 0.12 (0.01)] for the Macular Densitometer.
Conclusion: The results demonstrate that the MPS 9000 consistently yields MPOD readings, which are lower than that found with the Macular Densitometer, and exhibits substantial test–retest variability.