Fluorescein angiography is a clinical test to look at blood circulation in the retina at the back of the eye. It is used to diagnose retinal conditions caused by diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, and other retina abnormalities. The test can also help follow the course of a disease and monitor its treatment. It may be repeated as needed without radiation exposure to the eye or body. With the introduction of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) testing, fluorescein angiography is being done less often than in the past, but remains an important diagnostic tool for the retina specialist.
Fluorescein angiography is for those:
- who have indications of retinal conditions
- whose doctor has determined that this test is needed for diagnosis of retinal conditions
What to expect on testing day:
Your testing will most likely be performed in a specially equipped examination room. It does not require a surgery center or anesthesia. Prior to your procedure, your eye will be dilated.
During the test, a harmless non-radioactive orange-red dye called Fluorescein will be injected into a vein in your arm. The dye will travel through your body to the blood vessels in your retina. Your doctor will use a special camera with a green filter to flash a blue light into your eye and take multiple photographs. He will analyze the pictures and identify any damage to the lining of the retina or to spot the growth of new blood vessels.
This diagnostic test takes about 30 minutes to an hour, including the time for dilation of your eye. You can go home immediately after the procedure. After your angiography, your skin and urine may appear discolored for a short time until the Fluorescein is completely out of your system.
There is little risk in having fluorescein angiography, though some people may have mild allergic reactions to the dye that can cause itching, excessive sneezing, flushing of skin and nausea. Severe allergic reactions have been reported, but very rarely. Occasionally, some of the dye leaks out of the vein at the injection site, causing a slight burning sensation that goes away quickly.
If you would like more information about this procedure you can make an appointment or contact the office for additional information.