An eye angiogram is performed to examine the flow of blood through the blood vessels present in the eye. Eye angiography is conducted using a yellow colored dye. The yellow colored dye is inserted into the blood, and then the flow is monitored using cameras.
The dye is in fact injected into a vein in the arm. The circulation of blood is such that within 10-15 seconds of the insertion, the blood circulates through the body and enters the eyes. Once it enters the eyes, a series of photos is immediately taken in order to chart the course of the blood.
If the blood vessels are working properly, the blood with the dye will circulate normally through the eyes. However, if the vessels are not healthy or have developed a leak, the liquid dye may leak out of the blood vessels and spill into the eye fluids or tissues. To monitor this, a series of pictures is taken as the day progresses. These cameras are specially designed to filter out and photograph the areas which have been colored by the dye. As the dyed areas show up in the pictures, the course can easily be charted.
The yellow dye is known as fluorescein. However, the fluorescein angiogram eye test can be conducted by replacing the fluorescein with another chemical known as the indocyanine green, which is a green colored dye. This particular dye allows the health practitioner check for any leaks that might have occurred during the test.
The eye angiogram is conducted in order to confirm abnormalities in the blood vessels of the eyes, to detect tumors or inflammations in the vessels, to locate leakages in the blood vessels of the eye, and to help find blockages, if any, in the blood vessels.
To prepare for the test, glasses or contact lenses have to be removed. Contact lenses cannot be worn a few days after the test. This is because the dye can stain the contact lenses.
If you have any allergies, discuss them with your doctor. If you have ever been allergic to any contrast materials, it is important that you disclose it to your doctor because these materials are used in the angiogram of the eye. If you have had glaucoma at any stage in your life, the medication for it should not be taken for some time. The use of any other long term medicines should also be discussed with your doctor.