Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Eye Health Center

Font Size

Eye Angiogram

How It Is Done

An eye angiogram is done in a hospital or doctor's office by an ophthalmologist.

Before the test, the doctor uses drops to widen, or dilate, your pupils. You will be seated in a chair facing the camera. You should loosen or remove any restrictive clothing around your neck. You will be asked to place your chin on a chin rest and your forehead against a bar to stabilize your head. Keep your teeth closed, open your eyes as widely as you can, and stare straight ahead while breathing and blinking normally. A few photographs will be taken.

An IV needle is then placed in a vein in your arm and the dye is injected. Once injected, it takes about 10 to 15 seconds for the dye to be visible in the blood vessels in your eyes.

As the dye enters the eyes, the doctor takes a rapid series of photos for a few minutes. The photos show the dye's progress through the blood vessels in your eyes. The dye makes the blood vessels show up clearly in the photos. More photos are taken after most of the dye has passed through the eyes to see whether any of the blood vessels are leaking the dye. If dye leaks out of a blood vessel, it will color the surrounding tissue and fluid in the eye.

The test usually takes about 30 minutes, unless additional photos are needed. If more photos are needed, you will rest for 20 minutes before 5 to 10 more photos are taken. Photos can be taken up to 1 hour after an injection.

How It Feels

When fluorescein dye is injected into your arm, you may notice a metallic taste in your mouth, mild nausea, and a brief sensation of warmth.

After the test, your skin, the whites of your eyes, and your urine may be bright yellow or orange, but these effects wear off in 24 to 48 hours.

Because of the dilating eyedrops, your vision may be blurred, and your eyes may be sensitive to light for up to 12 hours. Avoid bright light and sunshine. Wear dark glasses when you go outside.


While the fluorescein dye is injected, you may become nauseated and feel flushed. These symptoms pass quickly.

Some people are allergic to the dye. Tell your doctor if you feel lightheaded, need to vomit, or have itching and hives after the dye is injected. Very rarely, a person may have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) and need emergency care.

Dye that leaks out of the vein around the injection site may cause pain and may injure the skin.

The dye may pose a risk to a fetus. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about these risks.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

businesswoman wearing fun eyeglasses
Pink Eye Slideshow
Woman with itchy watery eyes
grilled salmon and spinach

Understanding Stye
human eye
eye exam timing

vision test
is vision correction surgery for you
high tech contacts
eye drop

Special Sections