Information for parents about Fluorescein (FFA) and Indocyanine Green (ICG) angiography procedure
This page answers the commonly asked questions that parents have about their child’s angiography procedure.
What is Fluorescein (FFA) and Indocyanine Green (ICG) angiography?
The FFA test gives information about the condition of your child’s retina at the back of their eye and the ICG test gives details about the layer of blood vessels underneath the retina. The test will help the doctor to decide the best treatment options with you for your child.
What do the tests involve?
The test involves an injection of either dye into the bloodstream via a vein in the hand or arm. A series of photographs are then taken over several minutes. No X-rays or radioactive material is used.
The test will be carried out in the Ophthalmology Outpatients Department. The procedure will be explained to both you and your child before you are asked to sign a consent form agreeing to the test. Please tell us if your child has had any chest or breathing problems and any allergies, particularly to shellfish or Iodine.
Your child will have a vision test and given eye drops to dilate their pupils. Once the pupils are dilated, your child will go into the photography room and photos of the eye will be taken.
Although the test itself will take 10 to 25 minutes, you should allow 1½ hours for the appointment. You will be able to go in the room with your child during the procedure.
Your child can take all of their usual medication and eat and drink as normal on the day of the procedure.
What happens during the test?
Cream will be applied to the back of your child’s hand to numb the area before a tube is inserted into a vein. Dye will then be put into the vein though the tube. This will allow photos to be taken of the vessels at the back of your child’s eye.
Your child will be asked to keep their eyes in a certain position but they will be able to have short breaks.
Are there any side effects?
Common side effects include the fluorescein dye giving your child’s skin a yellow tinge. It will also cause their urine to be bright yellow for 1 to 2 days. These changes will not be permanent. Your child also might experience a hot flushing sensation as the dye is injected. There is a small risk of a mild reaction to the dyes which could result in shortness of breath or developing a brief rash; this rarely lasts for more than a few minutes.
There is an extremely small risk of a severe allergic reaction to the dyes and any other intravenous medications, causing shock and collapse. For this reason, an emergency resuscitation team is always available.
What happens after the angiogram?
The tube will be left in your child’s hand for 15 minutes. Once we are sure everything has gone well, the tube will be taken out and your child will be allowed to go home.
If your child gets any skin blotches, irritation or breathing problems after the test you should return to the hospital immediately.
When will I know my child’s test results?
An appointment may have been made for you to see the doctor on the day of your child’s test.
If not, an appointment will be sent to you so that the results and any further treatment can be discussed.
If you are unable to keep the appointment for the procedure, please let the Booking Office know.
The Booking Office
Tel: 0300 422 4500
Monday to Thursday, 8:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm
If your child has an urgent eye or vision problem please contact:
Tel: 0300 422 3578
Monday to Friday 8:00am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 6.00pm, Saturdays, 8:00am to 1:00pm
Out of hours calls will be diverted to the eye doctor on call.
We would like to acknowledge the patient information department of Moorfields Eye Hospital, London who have kindly agreed for some of the content of their parent information leaflet to be replicated on this page.