Fluorescein angiography (fluorescein – the type of dye that is used; angiogram – a study of the blood vessels) is an extremely valuable test that provides information about the circulatory system and the condition of the back of the eye. FAs are useful for evaluating many eye diseases that affect the retina.
The test is performed by injecting a special dye, called fluorescein, into a vein in the arm. In just seconds, the dye travels to the blood vessels inside the eye. A camera equipped with special filters that highlight the dye is used to photograph the fluorescein as it circulates though the blood vessels in the back of the eye. If there are any circulation problems, swelling, leaking or abnormal blood vessels, the dye and its patterns will reveal these in the photographs. The doctor can then make a determination as to the diagnosis, and possible treatment options for the patient.
In many cases, these photos are taken with a digital camera system, allowing the physician to interpret the results immediately.
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