Fluorescein angiography

What is fluorescein angiography?

The Fluorescein Angiography eye care service is an eye test which uses medical contrast dye and a specialised ophthalmic camera to examine blood flow through vessels at the back of the eye.

How does fluorescein angiography work?

At the beginning of the test eye drops will be given in order to make the pupils dilate.

The ophthalmic photographer will then take photos of the inside of the eye using a special camera. Medical contrast dye will then be injected into a vein at the bend of the elbow. Further pictures of the eye will then be taken to determine how easily the dye moves through the blood vessels in the back of the eye.

The most common conditions the test will be used for will be:

  • Age related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Central & branch retinal vein occlusion
  • Other macula diseases

What are the benefits?

The Fluorescein Angiography eye care service is used to investigate retinal disease and help your consultant to plan treatment. Through repeated Fluorescein Angiography tests the consultant can assess how well treatments are working and make alterations where necessary. The Fluorescein Angiography test provides a permanent record of the state of the blood vessels at the back of the eye and checks to see if there is a healthy blood flow through these vessels.

How safe is it?

As with any procedure where skin is broken there is a slight chance of infection. Urine may also be darker and possibly orange in colour for a day or two after the test.

Although the Fluorescein Angiography test is a day procedure there are preparations which should be made to minimise risk during and after the procedure:

  • You should inform your consultant of your medical history, including medication you are currently taking as well as any allergies you may have.
  • If you think you might be pregnant please inform the medical team.
  • Ensure you have someone to drive you home after the procedure; the drops and camera will blur your vision for up to 12 hours afterwards.
  • You must sign a consent form and remove any contact lenses beforehand.

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