Eye Blood Vessel Imaging (Fluorescein Angiography)

What is fluorescein angiography?

Fluorescein angiography is an eye test in which a special camera takes pictures of the blood vessels inside your eye. Dye is injected into a vein in your arm. Pictures are taken while the dye moves through the blood vessels in your eye.

This test takes only a short time and causes little discomfort.

Why is this test done?

Your eye care provider will use this test to check for abnormal blood vessels or swelling and to find out if the flow of blood is normal in your retina. The retina is the lining at the back of the eye that senses light coming into the eye. You may be at risk for problems with your retinas if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, sickle cell disease, or other health problems.

You may have this test during a checkup if your eye care provider suspects problems with your retina. This test can also be used to see if certain treatments are working.

How do I prepare for this test?

No special preparation is needed.

What happens during the test?

Your eyes will be dilated with eye drops. You will be seated in front of a special camera. You put your chin on a chin rest, and your forehead against a support bar to keep your head still during the test. An orange dye is injected into a vein in your arm through a needle. The dye travels from your arm to your eyes in a few seconds. Photos are taken quickly as the dye moves through the blood vessels in your eyes. The test can take up to a half hour or more. The photos can show problems in the back of the eye.

What happens after the test?

After the test, you can go back to normal daily activities. Sometimes the dye makes your skin look yellow and your urine orange for a day or two after the test. These effects are temporary and harmless.

Ask your healthcare provider how and when you will hear your test results.

What are the risks of this procedure?

About 1 in 10 people feel lightheaded or have some itching or nausea. Tell your provider if you have these symptoms. Reactions more serious than this are very rare.

Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/wilmer/
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-12-31
Last reviewed: 2014-10-28
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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