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Eye Angiogram


An eye angiogram uses fluorescein or indocyanine dye and a camera to take pictures and evaluate the blood flow through the vessels in the back of the eye (retina).

This test takes about 30 minutes. Your doctor can usually review the results soon after.

Eye angiogram
  • The dye flows through the blood vessels in the retina without delays.
  • There are no leaks or areas of blockages.
  • The dye flows very slowly through the blood vessels.
  • The flow of dye is blocked.
  • The dye leaks from the blood vessels.
  • The dye pools in the surrounding eye tissue or in the optic disc.

Many conditions can change eye angiogram results. Your doctor will discuss any significant abnormal results with you in relation to your symptoms and past health.

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Cataracts.
  • Inadequate dilation of the pupils.
  • Inability to keep your eyes wide open and to stare straight ahead during the test.

What To Think About

  • Most doctors discourage the use of this test during pregnancy—especially during the first 3 months.
  • Since the dye passes to your baby in breast milk, it is not safe to breast-feed for 24 to 48 hours after this test. Use a breast pump to empty your breasts and discard the milk until it is safe to start breast-feeding again. You may wish to collect and store breast milk for several days before the test or purchase formula to use during this time.
  • The dye is filtered through your kidneys and passes out of your body in your urine within about 48 hours. Your urine may be bright yellow or orange during this time.
  • A dye called indocyanine green is better at finding some types of eye problems and may be used instead of fluorescein. It allows the doctor to see whether blood vessels underneath the retina are leaking.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last RevisedAugust 20, 2012

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.

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