Some people exposed to canthaxanthin may develop a "gold dust" retinopathy, named for the changes seen on the fundoscopic examination.


Canthaxanthin (Food Orange 8, Roxanthin Red 10, 4,4'-dioxo-beta-carotene) is a carotenoid pigment with no vitamin A activity.



(1) oral artificial suntanning agent

(2) yellow-orange food colorant (soft drinks, candy, yogurt, lemonade)


Risk factors:

(1) high intake of canthaxanthin (total doses >= 37 grams)

(2) focal disease of the pigment epithelium

(3) ocular hypertension

(4) concurrent exposure to beta-carotene


Fundoscopic examination shows gold-colored particles located in:

(1) nerve fibers close to the macula

(2) in the paramacular region

These measure around 30 microns in diameter.


The patient may have a decrease in visual acuity.


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