What Is Fluorescein Angiography?
Fluorescein angiography is a test to find out about the blood flow in your retina. It
takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Photographers, who are experts in this area, take the
pictures of your retina. It is not an x-ray. The doctor will be able to look at the
pictures as soon as the test is done.
The test is done with a special camera. Fluorescein, an orange-colored dye, glows
when it is exposed to green light. It is injected into a vein in your arm. The dye
travels through the body to the blood vessels in the eye in 10 to 20 seconds. Many
pictures are taken as the dye moves through the blood vessels of the retina. The
result is a set of pictures that shows the doctor the blood flow in your eye.
What You Can Expect
After the test is over, you will find that your urine has changed to a bright yellow
color. Fair-skinned persons may notice a yellow to orange color of the skin. Both
of these color changes will go away as the dye leaves your body. It often takes less
than 24 hours. There is no pain with these changes.
There are other feelings you may have. Some find the test tiresome because of the
camera’s bright lights and the need to hold still in the chin rest. You may have
slight pain and bruising at the injection site, much like having blood drawn for lab
tests. Rarely, you will have a burning feeling if the dye leaks out under the skin. If
this happens, you will be given an ice pack until the pain goes away. Some patients
have nausea after the injection. It lasts only a few minutes in the early part of the
test. Some patients have an allergic reaction such as hives, itching, or wheezing. If
this happens, you will be given proper treatment.
Pregnant or nursing women should avoid this dye.
Please let your nurse or doctor know if you have any problems either during the
injection or in the day or so after the procedure. Please call if you have any
problems or questions.
If you have any problems breathing or a severe allergic reaction, call 911.
University Station Eye Clinic, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
When the clinic is closed, your call will be forwarded to the hospital paging
operator. Ask for the “Eye Resident on Call”. Give the operator your name and
phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942 and ask to be transferred to the
Please call if you have any questions or concerns.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals &
Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5261