What is fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) and indocyanine-green (ICG) angiography?
Fluorescein (FFA) and indocyanine green (ICG) angiography are simple diagnostic tests, which involve the injection of fluorescein (yellow) dye and / or indocyanine green into your bloodstream via a vein in your hand or arm, followed by a series of photographs taken over several minutes.
The FFA test gives your doctor more information about the condition of your retina in the back of your eye.
The ICG test provides information about the choroid which lies underneath the retina.
These tests help the doctor to consider the best treatment options for you. Please take your medication as normal on the day of your procedure and take asthma inhalers and GTN (glyceryl trinitrate) spray with you. You may eat and drink as normal.
Please allow 2 hours for your appointment.
We will explain the procedure and answer any questions you have beforehand.
What happens during the procedure?
Before the procedure, we need to give you eye drops to enlarge your pupils. This is to ensure that we have an overall view of the fundus (interior surface of the eye) when we perform the procedure.
During the procedure a fluorescent dye called fluorescein is injected into a vein in your arm. The dye travels quickly throughout your body, to your eye. As soon as the fluorescein is injected, several pictures are taken of your eye with a special camera to record the blood flow in your retina.
Series of photos of your eye will be taken with a fundus camera, so you will see bright flashing lights. Your eyes will not be touched during this test. The test takes about five to ten minutes to complete.
As we are injecting a drug into your vein, you need to give us formal consent to do this, and no treatment can be given without your consent.
The drops will cause some blurring of vision and may last up to 12 hours. For this reason, you are advised not to drive on this day. The flash from the camera dazzles you for about 10 minutes.
Why am I having FFA and / or ICG?
There are many different conditions that can affect the circulation of blood in your eye.
This procedure can be useful in determining the exact diagnosis or retinal problem. Understanding the cause, or extent of a retinal disease, will help us to provide the correct treatment.
Are there any side effects?
As the dye is yellow in colour, your urine may be bright yellow for a couple of days. Your skin might have slightly yellow tint after the procedure. We recommend drinking plenty of water after the test, to flush the dye from your body.
1 in 10 patients may feel nauseous or vomit during the test. Rarely, other reactions to the dye occur. These include an itchy rash and, very rarely, anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), which affects 1 in 10,000 patients.
We recommend that you stay in the hospital for at least half an hour following the procedure. This is to make sure you don’t have any delayed reactions to the dye. If you feel unwell after you go home, please go to your nearest A&E.
Is there anything I need to do before the procedure?
Please tell us if you have any allergies, such as iodine or shellfish, and any medical conditions or mental capacity concerns such as:
- heart problems.
- breathing problems.
- history of seizure disorders.
- shellfish and / or seafood allergies.
Please also tell us if you are pregnant or if you feel unwell in any other way before having this injection.
Let us know in advance if you’ll need an interpreter.
How do I make a comment about my treatment?
If you have any suggestions or comments about your visit, please either speak to a member of staff or contact the patient advice and liaison service (PALS)
Phone 01273 664511
The PALS team will listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries and is often able to help solve problems on your behalf.
Sussex Eye Hospital, Eastern Rd., Brighton, BN2 5BF
Out of hours telephone 01273 664881
This leaflet is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath. The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.