Fluorescein Angiography0

FAWhat Is Fluorescein Angiography?

Fluorescein angiography is a medical procedure used in the diagnosis of retinal problems. A dye is introduced into the bloodstream. When the dye reaches the blood vessels in the eye a series of flash photographs are taken.

An eye angiogram uses fluorescein dye and a camera to take pictures and evaluate the blood flow through the vessels in the back of the eye (retina).

During an eye angiogram, the dye is injected into a vein in your arm. Once injected, it takes about 10 to 15 seconds to circulate through your body. As the dye enters the blood vessels in your eyes, a series of photos are taken to chart the dye’s progress. More pictures are taken after most of the dye has passed through your eyes to see if any of it has leaked out of the blood vessels. Any dye that leaks out of the blood vessels will color the tissues and fluid in the eye. Filters in the camera allow the areas colored by the dye to show up in the photos.

Unlike other angiogram procedures, an eye angiogram is not an X-ray procedure, so you are not exposed to any radiation.


Why It Is Done

An eye angiogram is done to:

    • Confirm the presence of abnormal blood vessels in or under the retina.
    • Check for and locate leaking blood vessels in the retina, especially if you have symptoms that suggest damage to or swelling of the retina, such as blurred or distorted vision. This is often caused by diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration.
    • Help find inflammation or tumors in the eye.
    • Locate the precise areas of the retina that need treatment prior to laser eye surgery.FA 2


  • Help find blockage in the blood vessels that feed or drain blood from the retina (retinal arteries and veins).

Fluorescein Angiography

Ophthalmology A technique used to diagnose chorioretinal disease, based on the enhancement of anatomic and vascular details in the retina after IV injection of fluorescein, a dye; FA is used to evaluate retinal disease–it delineates abnormal areas, and demonstrates defects–eg, choroidal neovascularization, proliferatrive diabetic retinopathy, and light toxicity, and can be used to plan laser therapy for vascular lesions of the retina. Cf Retinopathy.


Purpose of the Fluorescein Angiograph

  • To reveal fine details of retinal circulation that is not visible with a routine eye exam
  • To diagnose and evaluate a variety of eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, or AMD (a degenerative condition of the most sensitive area of the retina, or macula); diabetic retinopathy(deterioration of the retina resulting from diabetes); circulatory or inflammatory disorders; and tumors
  • To assist in the planning of laser treatments for neovascular AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and other disorders
  • As part of permanent medical record of the vessels at the back of the eye
  • To identify and locate subretinal neovascularization (new blood vessels growing under the retina, which will leak and bleed)

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