Carolina Macula & Retina                                              John Gross, MD
                                                                                   
Flourescin Angiogram(FA)

What is an "FA" ?

A fluorescein angiogram is a test used to examine the retina and diagnose a range of different retinal conditions such as macular degeneration, macular oedema, diabetic retinopathy or vein occlusions.

The procedure involves a small injection of a special diagnostic dye. Photographs of the retina and the blood vessels are then taken as the dye circulates through the blood stream (choroidal and retinal circulations). This test allows a detailed evaluation of any blockage, leakage of dye, or areas of ischaemia (poor circulation) and is important for Dr. Gross to diagnose or monitor your eye condition.

For 24-48 hours after the procedure your skin may appear slightly yellow and your urine will be bright yellow/orange. This is normal and you should not be alarmed. Drinking plenty of water after your procedure will assist the kidneys to excrete the dye.

The procedure usually takes about half an hour to complete. The retina is photographed using a specialized digital camera as the dye travels through the retinal circulation. Bright flashes of light from the camera will be experienced. After having a fluorescein angiogram, we advise that you do not drive home yourself home after the appointment and you are accompanied by a family member or friend.

The risks associated with injection of fluorescein are low; most patients do not experience any significant side-effects from the fluorescein angriogram. However, a small percentage of patients will experience nausea and/or vomiting following the dye injection and very rarely some might have an allergic reaction to the dye (anaphylactic reaction). Other adverse reactions include headache, lower back pain, low blood pressure, or fainting.