Fluorescein Angiography and Optical Coherence Tomography

What is fluorescein angiography?

Fluorescein angiography is a common test that helps us assess blood vessels in the retina. It is important for the diagnosis for many common eye conditions such as wet macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusion and diabetic retinopathy.

What happens during the test?

Initially the pupils are dilated with a drop. This can make the vision blurry and patients are advised not to drive following angiography. A small canula is placed in a vein in the back of the hand and a small volume of dye is injected. The dye flows around the body and into the eye. A series of photographs are taken as the dye flows into the eye.

What happens after the test?

Following the test the vision will be blurry, and a patient may be asked to remain in the hospital  for a few hours before leaving. The skin develops a slight yellow tinge and the fluorescein may colour urine for 24 hours.

Is it safe?

There is a risk of fainting and collapse in patients undergoing angiography. Patients should inform the nurse if they have any allergies or ongoing medical conditions.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

What is OCT?

OCT is a relatively technology that uses lasers to scan the retina. It creates a map of the thickness of the retina and also shows pockets of fluid within the retina.

Why is it useful?

OCT is a useful addition to clinical assessment of many patients with macular disease. It gives clear 3D pictures of the retina and also measures the thickness accurately. These measurements can be compared to assess whether the retinal treatments are working.

Is it safe?

OCT scanning is safe. A patients eyes will be dilated when the retina is scanned and during the scan they will see a bright light.  Following the scan the vision maybe blurred temporarily.