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Fluorescein Angiography (FAG)

The purpose of a fluorescein angiography is to diagnose and / or facilitate treatment. The fluorescein angiography is mainly used to visualize possible deviations of the retina, the macula and / or the blood vessels in the eye.

During the test the blood vessels of the retina and the underlying choroid in the eye is made visible with a contrast liquid. These contrast fluids are administered in your arm via an infusion. The liquids light up when they are lit with light of a certain color (wavelength).

In connection with a good flow of liquid in the arms of the arm, you will be requested to avoid wearing any tight clothing / outerwear.

Preparation for the test

To test the fluorescein angiogram, the pupils need to be dilated. You will be given pupil dilating drops in their eye(s) two separate times, with an interval of about 15 minutes each time.

On average, it takes about 30 minutes for the drops to become effective. After this the fluorescein angiogram test can begin.

Figure 1: Fundus image without contrast fluid.

Figure 2: Fundus image, 40 seconds after administration of contrast medium.

During the test

During the examination, your head will rest on a chin rest of the device. The nurse will proceed to take preparatory photographs. The ophthalmologist will then inject a small amount of contrast fluid into a blood vessel in your arm. The nurse will simultaneously take pictures with a special (fundus) camera. After about 10 seconds the liquid will reach the eye and a picture will be taken per second. Thereafter, the intervals between the shots increase. Depending on the type of liquid, the eye is illuminated with light of a short (blue) or long wavelength (infrared). This causes the vessels of the retina and the choroid to light up.

The contrast liquid sodium fluorescein is usually used and shows the superficial retinal vessels. With this liquid is usually started and taking the photos takes 5 to 10 minutes. If these photographs do not yet provide enough information, indocyanine green (ICG) can be used. With this fluid the deeper blood vessels of the choroid can be made visible. Taking the photos takes 15 to 20 minutes.

The total examination, including the action of the eye drops, takes about 45 to 75 minutes. You will receive the results of the examination soon after the Ophthalmologist's examination.

After the test

Due to the dilated pupils and the bright lighting during the examination, the visibility can be affected for a few hours. We advise you not to drive your car for the first two hours after the investigation.

Due to the sodium fluorescein, the skin and the whites after the end of the examination may be yellow in color. This discoloration quickly disappears.

The dye is excreted by the kidneys, making the urine a bit different in color. You do not have to worry about this.

Occasionally you may suffer from nausea, this will disappear quickly.

Fall prevention

After dripping it may be that you see less well with the dripped eye. This can increase the chance of falling. On this website you can find information about how you can reduce the risk of falling.

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