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Fluorescein Angiography

Fluorescein angiography is a classic diagnostic test that involves taking photographs of the blood vessels in the eye with the help of a contrast dye. Fluorescein is a yellow dye that allows the retina to glow when exposed to a certain wavelength of visible light. The images produced by this test help doctors evaluate the retina and diagnose or monitor problems such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, abnormal vessel growth, macular edema, retinal artery or vein occlusions, certain types of retinal detachment, and tumors.

During these exams, the patient’s pupils are dilated with eye drops. A few photographs are then taken with a digital ophthalmic camera. Next, the contrast dye is injected, usually into a vein in the patient’s arm. The dye travels up to the eye within a few seconds and “lights up” the blood vessels for the camera. Once the dye is injected, multiple photographs are taken.

These tests are considered safe for the vast majority of patients, although it is possible to have a reaction to the dye and develop symptoms including itching, nausea, or a rash. These symptoms can usually be managed through oral medication if severe. In addition, patients who receive fluorescein injections can expect that their urine will appear bright orange for the first several hours after the test.

Fluorescein dye is considered safe for most patients. It does not contain iodine and can generally be used even in patients who have had reactions to other intravenous contrast dyes used by radiologists and other specialists. Fluorescein angiograms may be required intermittently to assess a patient’s response to treatment or need for further therapy.

Ultra wide-field FA image showing Peripheral Telangiectasias

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Browse through the articles on this page to explore a wide range of topics related to retinal health. Visit other pages on our site, including our retinal disease page, for additional information as well.

Mid Atlantic Retina is made up of top Wills Eye Physicians, known for being the best retina doctors in the country. To seek further retina information and personalized care from a board-certified retinal specialist, make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Pennsylvania, Delaware, or the New Jersey area. Our specialists offer the most advanced treatments for adult and pediatric retinal diseases, and we pride ourselves on providing all of our patients with the highest level of care. This includes efficient diagnostics and the latest in treatments and procedures, with state-of-the-art services tailored to your needs.

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