Fluorescein angiography is a diagnostic procedure which uses a specialized fundus camera system to take a series of photographs of the retina. This diagnostic test can supply valuable information about a patient’s ocular health otherwise unavailable to the ophthalmologist.
A special water-soluble dye (fluorescein) is injected into a vein in the arm. The dye travels through the veins and into the arteries which circulate throughout the body. (This procedure is often confused with an X-ray angiogram where an iodine dye is injected into a vessel. The fluorescein angiogram is a photographic test, not an X-ray.)
As the dye passes through the blood vessels of the retina, which will happen in a matter of seconds, a special camera flashes a blue light into the eye and takes multiple photographs of the retina.
If the blood vessels are abnormal, the dye may leak into the retina or stain the blood vessels. Damage to the lining underneath the retina or the appearance of abnormal new blood vessels growing beneath the retina may also be revealed. The precise location of these abnormalities can be determined by a careful interpretation of the fluorescein angiogram by your ophthalmologist.
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