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. This test can also help follow the course of a disease and monitor its treatment. It may be repeated on multiple occasions with no harm to the eye or body.
During the test, a harmless yellow 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. 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, or 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.