An angiogram is a test that allows the physician to see highlighted images of retinal blood vessels. Fluorescein dye is injected into a peripheral vein, generally in the arm. Rapid-sequence photographs are then taken as the dye circulates through the blood vessels of the retina. The detection of abnormal blood vessels can be visualized through this process. Following the procedure, your vision may be blurry for several hours due to the bright lights.
Fluorescein is a relatively safe dye. Unlike the dye used for CT scans, cardiac angiograms and kidney studies, it does not contain iodine. Patients with allergies to iodine can safely receive a fluorescein injection. The allergic reactions to fluorescein are relatively rare and are usually mild, consisting of itching and hives. Also, transient nausea occasionally occurs. The dye is cleared in the urine. Fluorescein may cause your skin to appear orange-brown for several hours following the injection. In addition, your urine will appear yellowish-green for a day or so.