Fluorescein is a yellow dye that is injected into a vein in the hand or arm during this test. The dye travels via the circulation to the eye. Multiple flash photographs are then taken, using a special camera, to document the passage of dye through the blood vessels of the retina. The test demonstrates abnormalities in retinal blood vessels and structures and helps in the diagnosis of a number of eye condition.
Following the test your skin will be yellow, and your urine will be dark yellow, for approximately the rest of the day.
a. Indications for fluorescein angiography
A fluorescein angiogram is performed when a serious eye condition is present or suspected. The most frequent reasons are: visual loss due to age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease. The test may also be helpful in inflammatory and vascular conditions affecting the retina.
b. The risks of fluorescein angiography
In a minority of people, nausea develops soon after the injection of dye, but passes in a few minutes. Only about 1 in 100 people vomit. Fainting or dizziness occurs less frequently. Other side effects are much less common.
Allergic skin reactions can cause an itchy rash, or the yellow dye might leak out of a fragile vein and cause localised burning, and stain the skin near the injection site. Severe and life threatening reactions including allergy (anaphylaxis) and collapse have been reported, but are extremely rare.