Fluorescein angiography is an eye test that is used to detect blood circulation problems in the retina and choroid, structures that are located in the back of your eyes. The test uses an injected dye and a special camera to take photos of blood vessels. It is used to diagnose certain eye conditions, including retinopathies […]
Fluorescein angiography is an eye test that is used to detect blood circulation problems in the retina and choroid, structures that are located in the back of your eyes. The test uses an injected dye and a special camera to take photos of blood vessels. It is used to diagnose certain eye conditions, including retinopathies and macular degeneration. Fluorescein angiography is a simple and short test that is performed in your doctor’s office. There is no radiation associated with this test.
Fluorescein Angiography Eye Test
Fluorescein angiography is the technique used to examine the retina using a dye to highlight the blood circulation within the eye. If you have been referred for this test it is because the ophthalmologist (specialist eye surgeon) requires further information to help decide about the condition of the retina in your eyes
There are several stages to the test:
- Drops will be administered to dilate the pupils of your eyes. This is done as soon as you attend the clinic and requires approximately 25-30 minutes to work.
- Photographs of your retina will then be taken using a special camera. Although this not at all painful the flash can sometimes be rather bright.
- While sitting at the camera you will be given an injection into a vein in the back of your hand
- A series of photographs are taken immediately after the injection. This is to see the dye as it circulates through the eye
After you have had a short rest you will be able to go home, however as your vision will be significantly blurry from the drops you should not drive when you come for the test.
Are there any side effects?
There are two main side effects from the injection:
- Firstly your skin will be slightly brown or orange for approximately one day. This is an effect from the dye and it usually appears similar to a mild tan.
- Secondly, the dye passes out of the body through the kidneys and as a result, urine will be brown or orange.
These side effects are completely normal and nothing to be afraid of, however, if you are diabetic then you should not rely on urine testing for a few days after the test.
What happens after the test?
After you have had the test the photographs will be processed and the doctor will see you in the clinic to discuss the results. When you leave the clinic please ensure that the receptionist has all your current contact details.