Fluorescein Angiography in Northwest Arkansas

Fluorescein angiography is a photographic test involving fluorescein dye injection into a vein in the patient’s arm. The dye circulates through the body and into the eyes and works like food coloring. It does not affect the kidneys like the dyes used for MRIs and CAT scans. As the dye circulates into the blood vessels of the eyes, the retinal photographer images the macula and retina. Fluorescein dye allows the detection of delayed blood flow from the body, blocked blood flow, leakage from retinal or choroidal blood vessels, presence of abnormal blood vessels, presence of vascular changes seen with intraocular tumors, and identification of inflamed tissues.

What Does The Fluorescein Angiography Test Address?

To determine if the blood vessels in the back of your eye are receiving an adequate amount of blood flow, a fluorescein angiography may be recommended. Additionally, many doctors use this test to diagnose eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration occurs in the part of the eye that allows for focus on detail, known as the macula. This disorder can worsen so slowly that you may never notice a change. For some, it causes vision to deteriorate rapidly, causing blindness in one or both eyes. Fluorescein angiography can detect macular degeneration before it is too late.

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by long-term diabetes and can result in irreversible damage to the blood vessels in the back of one’s eyes or retina. A doctor can use fluorescein angiography to see if treatments for this disorder are working.

Understanding the Test Results

Results of a fluorescein angiography can be fit into two categories: normal and abnormal results.

Normal results: If your blood vessels have a normal shape and size, that means your eye is healthy. Meaning there is no blockage or leaks in your vessels.

Abnormal results: If the test reveals some blockage or a leak in the blood vessels, this means your results are abnormal. Abnormal results may be due to:

  • Cancer
  • Swelling of the optic disc
  • A tumor
  • A circulatory problem
  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Enlarged capillaries in the retina

What Are The Side Effects of Fluorescein Angiography?

There are some mild side effects of the test, which include:

  • Objects appearing dark or tinted for a few minutes after the test
  • Yellowing of the skin that lasts for a few hours after the test
  • Discoloration of the urine with orange or yellow color for up to 24 hours after the test
  • Burning of the skin if there is leakage of the dye around the injection site, this effect goes away in a few minutes.

Although rare, there can be a risk of an allergy to the dye. This can manifest as hives or itchy skin. Very rarely, a person can have breathing or other serious problems. Allergic reactions can be treated with antihistamine pills or epinephrine shots if necessary.

Make an Appointment with Dr. DellaCroce

Fluorescein angiography can help address a multitude of alignments, all while being a relatively easy process. Schedule an appointment with the team at Retina Center of Arkansas to determine if a fluorescein angiography is right for you.

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