Fluorescein angiography is an eye test that is used to detect blood circulation problems in the retina and choroid. The process uses an injected orange colored fluorescent dye and a special camera to take pictures of the blood vessels. This test can detect blood vessel leakage and abnormalities. If a circulation problem is present, the pictures can help outline the affected area for treatment planning. Further, the test may be used to monitor treatment effectiveness.
Fluorescein angiography is a test that is used to detect or monitor many conditions, including but not limited to:
• Diabetic Retinopathy
• Macular degeneration
• Retinal Detachment
• Retinal Vessel Occlusion
• Retinitis Pigmentosa
• Microaneurysms- Enlarged retina capillaries
• Papilledema- Optic disc swelling
• Hypertensive retinopathy
• Blood Circulation Problems
• Inflammation or Swelling
You will need to have someone drive you home from the test because your vision will be blurred following the procedure. Your doctor may have you discontinue taking certain medications prior to the test. You should tell your doctor if you are hypersensitive to fluorescein or if you are pregnant.
Your doctor will dilate your pupils with eye drops. Your face will be stabilized with a positioning device for the test.
Your doctor will use a special camera to take pictures. Next, the dye is injected into your vein. Your doctor will take pictures as the dye flows through the blood vessels in your retina and choroid. After about 10 minutes, more pictures will be taken.
Your vision will be blurred for several hours after the test. Your urine will be bright orange in color for 24 to 48 hours following the test, as the dye leaves your system. Some people may be hypersensitive to the dye and experience mild nausea which disappears rapidly. In some cases an allergic reaction can occur which varies from mild itching to hives. These reactions occur within 15 to 20 minutes after the injection and are usually treated with observation or antihistamines. In rare instances, a more severe reaction can occur which requires rapid medical attention. You will usually be kept in the office after this test for about 30 minutes to make sure no reactions are occurring.
With newer techniques such as digital photography the results are immediately available and your doctor will more than likely discuss them with you immediately.