Fluorescent angiography of the retina: indications, procedure, results of the study

Fluorescent angiography of the retina is a highly informative modern study of the fundus, allowing to study in detail even the smallest vessels of the retina. In some diseases of the organ of vision the method of the survey plays a crucial role, as for pathology, and to choose optimal treatment tactics.

The method

The essence of fluorescence angiography is taking pictures of the retina on the background of the introduction into the circulatory system of the patient solution, which under the action of light of a certain length causes luminescence (fluorescence) vessels, revealing even the smallest flaws.

If photographing the fundus of the eye without injection into the blood contrast agent, all the features of the bloodstream the eye to see will be impossible, so in many pathologies such research will simply not valuable to the physician information.


Go fluorescent angiography of the retina, preferably the following pathological conditions:

  • Diabetes. This disease always affects small vessels, including in the fundus. However, this insidious diabetes is not the end. Changes in the retina can long go unnoticed, nor the optometrist, nor sick. Only fluorescein angiography allows to carry out early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Tumors of the choroid of the organ of vision. The research is needed for differential diagnosis of malignant and benign tumors.
  • Suspected circulatory disturbance of the retina thrombosis of its vessels.
  • Central serous chorioretinitis – edema of the retina of unknown etiology

Description of the procedure

To make pictures of the retina, the patient’s eye fluid drops that expand the pupil. That was the beginning of the procedure. The pupil dilation usually takes from 10 to 30 minutes because the doctor is not always able to immediately achieve the desired result.

When the pupils dilate enough, the eye doctor seats the patient in the chair to face the camera, which does some test photos of the fundus. Then in Vienna on the forearm of the examinee physician assistant fix the needle and quickly injects the contrast material. As soon as all the dye goes into the blood stream, starts photography. Pictures are made with an interval of 1 second, the average of such images should be 20-30.

The task of the examinee at the moment of photography: don’t blink, if so ask the doctor not to move and to be as calm as possible. After the principal photography of the patient allowed to rest for 20 minutes, and re-do some pictures.

Side effects of the procedure

Fluorescent angiography cannot be called a pleasant procedure. It is associated with some discomfort probability (fortunately, short) the development of various unwanted consequences, mainly associated with the introduction into the blood stream of the dye.

First, the patient may have an intolerance to contrast substance during the procedure will manifest following symptoms:

After the study can also be signs of Allergy to the contrast: urticaria, paresthesia of the tongue and more serious allergic reactions.

In addition, patients after fluorescent angiography can note blurred vision, which usually goes away in 12-24 hours. During this period it is advisable not to drive a car and not to be in the sun. Also day two can be colored urine. To help the body effectively to bring the chemistry from the body, it is advisable to drink more fluids.


Fluorescein angiography is not carried out, if a person has serious violations from the side of the kidneys. This body is entrusted the important function of excretion of contrast medium, so if you have some disorder, it can longer in the body and thus have toxic effects.

The second important point: it is not possible to do fluorescent angiography, if the patient has hypersensitivity to contrast agent or a similar medication. In most cases, doctors use fluorescein sodium salt.

Finally, some limitations for the conduct of the study arise, if the patient is diagnosed with a cataract (clouding of the optical media of the eye leads to deterioration of image quality), if there is not a complete dilated pupils, or if the person cannot sit still and open wide eyes.

The results of the study

Normally, the dye fills the capillaries of the retina in 13-15 seconds after injection into a vein. After this time the photo should be well visualized vascular mesh (specialist can not only assess the overall picture but also to hold angiomata), and the contrast should not extend beyond the vessels. 30-60 minutes, the fluorescence in the retinal vessels in healthy people is not defined.

Under pathological conditions of the retinal vessels change their shape, become tortuous, Suginami or advanced. Felt aneurysm – saccular extensions of the arteries. The contrast material beyond the vascular bed and forms a luminous spot on the retina. There are the collaterals – new blood vessels that provide blood flow to bypass the diseased sections.

If you look good to the pictures of the retina taken at different times, you might find plenty of other changes. That is, the interpretation of the results of angiography of the ocular fundus is a rather difficult task, however, if she performs a competent qualified doctor, the information obtained can be very useful to the ophthalmologist in terms of diagnosis, and to identify causes of impairments, and in terms of the selection of optimal treatment of the patient.

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