Central Carolina Surgical Eye Associates, P.A.
What is fluorescein angiography?
Fluorescein angiography is a valuable diagnostic procedure using specialized fundus camera systems to photograph the retina of the eye. This special diagnostic test can supply information about the delicate vascular structures of the retina that cannot be visualized in any other way.
If, after your eye exam, your retina specialist suspects abnormalities of the retina, he may recommend a fluorescein angiogram to rule out retinal disease or to follow the course of retinal disorders.
A special dye (sodium fluorescein) is injected into a vein in the arm and photographed as it passes through the arteries and veins of the retina. As it first enters the retinal arteries, the photographer will make a rapid series of photographs to document any abnormalities or leakage caused by certain retinal diseases. After the test, your doctor will make a careful interpretation of the angiogram, and the precise location of abnormalities can be observed.
Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration are the most common diseases requiring the use of this special test. Many other eye diseases also require the use of fluorescein angiography for diagnostic and treatment options. Your doctor can determine if this special test is necessary. In most cases, it is available at the time of your examination.
What is ICG or Indocyanine Green angiography?
Indocyanine green angiography or ICG is an adjunct to conventional fluorescein angiography. Using the latest computer assisted digital imaging techniques, ICG dye can be used to record the choroidal blood vessels behind the retina. Special digitally equipped fundus cameras are used to record the ICG dye using near infra-red light that allows the visualization of the choroidal vessels. If fluorescein angiography results are inconclusive or the doctor suspects that you may benefit from this special test, he may suggest that this procedure be performed. Our Greensboro office has two fully equipped digital imaging systems to provide you with the most advanced retinal image capture technology available.
What are the risks of fluorescein angiography?
The dye test is safe. After the dye is injected, you may notice your skin turn a yellowish tint for several hours. The kidneys filter the dye, so your urine will turn a dark yellow for up to 24 hours following this test.
Some individuals experience slight nausea; however, this usually passes after a few seconds.
Allergic reactions are very rare. Itching and a skin rash can occur and are usually treated with oral or injectable antihistamines, depending on symptoms. Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported but are extremely rare.
What are the risks of ICG ?
ICG has proven to be even safer than fluorescein angiography. Contraindications may include allergy to iodine, shellfish, liver disease or the use of a drug known as Glucophage.
John D. Matthews, MD and John T. Harriott, MD of Southeastern Eye Center are both fellowship trained retina specialists and Board Certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Always consult your physician concerning the risk and benefits of these tests. The information presented here is general in nature and only your physician can determine if your condition warrants these diagnostic tests.