Fluorescein Angiography

A fluorescein angiographyis a diagnostic procedure used to take photos of the retina to evaluate blood flow through the vessels in the back of the eye.Ophthalmologists use a fluorescein angiography to diagnose retinal diseases and disorders such as wet age-related macular degeneration, dry macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, retinal artery occlusion, and retinal vein occlusion. Patients diagnosed with these conditions may have a fluorescein angiography ordered to manage ongoing treatments and monitor progress.

A fluorescein angiography helps to find the presence of abnormal blood vessels in or under the retina,bleeding or leakage from abnormal blood vessels, and blocked blood veins or arteries. A fluorescein angiography helps to locate the precise areas of the retina that require treatment.

Patient’s eyes will be dilated with eye drops prior to beginning this examination. While seated in front of a fundus diagnostic camera, dilation provides the camera with a better view of the retinal layer. Next, the patient’s arm is injected intravenously with a safe water-soluble dye called fluorescein. This dye travels through the blood stream and passes through the blood vessels within the eye. A series of photographs will be taken which will show how the dye progresses through blood vessels. The dye makes it easier for these blood vessels to appear in the diagnostic photos and will show where leakages or blockages are occurring.

This diagnostic test takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.Patients may feel mild nausea, dizziness, or headaches after being injected with the dye, but this feeling will go away within a few minutes. Some patients have a reaction to the dye and develop itchiness or a rash where the dye was injected into the arm. Medication to treat these symptoms can be provided by your retinal specialist.

Patients will need to arrange someone to pick them up following a fluorescein angiography, as their pupils will be dilated and sensitive to light for up to 12 hours after the test is performed. Urine will appear bright yellow for up to 12 hours afterwards.

Information collected during the examination is recorded by Calgary Retina Consultants and saved in the patient’s records for future use. All patient records are strictly confidential.