Fluorescein (FFA) and Indocyanine Green (ICG) Angiography


Fluorescein (FFA) and Indocyanine Green (ICG) Angiography

These are diagnostic tests involving injecting a dye into the bloodstream via a vein in your hand or arm. Photographs are then taken over 10 minutes or so with you sitting at a machine with your chin in a chin-rest. 

FFA– gives information about the retina which is the lining of the back of the eye and acts like the film in a camera (old style camera!) 

ICG – gives information about the ‘choroid’ – which is a layer underneath the retina and involved in other conditions, often related to inflammation around the body.

Do I need any special preparation? 

No – take all your usual medication and eat and drink normally. 

What does the test involved? 

  1. Vision is checked and drops put in your eyes to dilate your pupils. These may blur your vision for several hours. You should not drive home from your appointment.
  2. General health check – we would not advise FFA or ICG in certain cases: pregnancy, history of severe allergies or photosensitive epilepsy. Although it is removed from the body through the kidneys, it can be used if necessary in people with kidney disease but may take longer to be cleared from the body. We will discuss this with you if this is the case.

Are there any side effects 

  1. Your skin will have a slightly yellow tinge and your urine will be bright yellow for 1-2 days.
  2. You may feel a hot sensation and/or slightly sick as the dye is injected. This only lasts a few seconds 
  3. The risk of a serious reaction to the dyes is very rare – of the order of 1:10,000 people or less. However, if you develop a rash or any other allergic symptoms, all the staff are trained in managing this rare complication. 

The needle (cannula) will be left in your hand or arm for 30 minutes to ensure that you have not had any reaction and will then be removed.  

Your doctor will review the pictures and discuss the findings with you.