Northeast Wisconsin Retina Associates

  • Dr. Rosculet with model of retina
  • staff member among patient files
  • ophthalmic technician working with patient

YOUR VISIT

DIAGNOSTIC TESTING

In addition to a thorough ophthalmologic examination by your physician, many patients with retinal disorders require additional testing. This may be necessary to provide diagnostic information regarding your condition, to guide treatment decisions, and/or to assess your response to treatment.

normal Fundus

normal Fundus photograph

Common testing procedures include:

  • retinal photography
  • fluorescein angiography
  • ICG (indocyanine green) angiography
  • ocular ultrasonography
  • OCT (optical coherence tomography) scanning

Retinal Photography

Using a specialized high-magnification camera system, color photographs of the retina are taken. This process is brief and noninvasive and the images are stored digitally.

Fluorescein Angiography

normal Fluoroscein

normal Fluoroscein angiogram

Fluorescein angiography is an additional photographic technique utilizing the same camera system mentioned above for retinal photography along with special light filters. Following the injection of a fluorescent dye (fluorescein) into a vein in your hand or arm, a rapid sequence of images is obtained as the dye circulates through the blood vessels of the retina. This test is a powerful technique used in the diagnosis and management of many retinal conditions including diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and many other abnormalities affecting the blood vessels of the retina.

The entire procedure usually takes approximately 20 minutes. Although the bright lights necessary for both your examination and testing of this kind may be somewhat uncomfortable, it is not harmful. Fluorescein angiography is a photographic technique and no x-ray/radiation is involved. Unlike the dye (contrast) used for CT scans, heart angiograms, and other radiology tests, fluorescein dye contains no iodine. There is therefore no concern regarding kidney damage or allergic reactions to iodine as is the case of some x-ray tests. Since fluorescein is removed from the body by the kidneys, your urine will be discolored (yellow-green) for up to 24 hours following the procedure.

ICG Angiography

This form of angiography utilizes a different dye called indocyanine green (ICG). The test is similar to fluorescein angiography, however is used much less frequently. ICG angiography is occasionally very useful in the evaluation of the tissue layers beneath the retina. ICG dye is removed from the body by the liver and no alteration in urine color is seen. Unlike fluorescein, ICG dye contains trace amounts of iodine and must be avoided in patients allergic to iodine, shell fish or x-ray dyes (radiologic contrast).

Ocular Ultrasonography

Ocular ultrasonography uses sound waves to image structures inside the eye. Your physician will often use this test to evaluate abnormalities when it is not possible to see clearly into the eye (for example, if bleeding is present within the eye). Evaluation of eye tumors is another common application for ocular ultrasonography. The technique is similar to ultrasound tests which you may have encountered for evaluation of other medical problems. The probe is far smaller than that used in other areas of medicine. The test is rapid, requiring only a few minutes and your doctor can review and discuss results immediately. Typically, the test is performed by placing a probe gently on the eyelid with the lids closed.

OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) Scanning

normal macular OCT scan

a normal macular OCT scan

OCT scanning is a newer diagnostic technique which is indispensable in the evaluation and management of many macular conditions – most frequently macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema. This technique utilizes light rays to produce extraordinarily high-resolution cross-sectional images of the macula. The test is quite brief and provides immediate results to your physician to guide treatment decisions.

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