Fluorescein Angiography (Oral) – Information for parents

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY1054/2023
  • Departments: Ophthalmology Department, Paediatrics
  • Last Updated: 31 May 2023


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion.   If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

What Is Fluorescein Angiography?

Fluorescein angiography, sometimes referred to as a ‘dye test’, is an investigation where a series of photos are taken prior to and following a drink containing orange juice and a small amount of yellow dye.

Why Does My Child Need a Fluorescein Angiography?

The test is carried out to help diagnose or monitor certain eye conditions. The dye shows the circulation at the back of the eye (the retina), and can be used to guide treatment. Your doctor should explain the reasons fully and please do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.

Can There Be Any Complications Or Risks?

The yellow dye may give your child’s skin a yellow colour for about 3 – 12 hours and turn their urine bright yellow for up to 48 hours, both of these things are normal and will resolve. It may also make your child feel slightly nauseous, though this should pass quickly.  Administering fluorescein orally greatly reduces the risk of allergic reactions. No serious reactions have been reported but mild reactions may include itching or a mild skin rash.

How Do I Prepare My Child?

Please read the information leaflet.  Share the information it contains with your child (if you wish).  There may be information they need to know.

Your child may eat and drink as normal prior to the procedure, although the dye will be absorbed faster if they have fasted for 2 hours prior to the test.  We need your child to be as co-operative as possible, so please do not withhold food if this may upset them.

Please give your child’s regular medications as usual on the day of the test.

What Will Happen?

The test will take place in the Eye Clinic on the ground floor of the Eye Hospital at Hull Royal Infirmary.  The Eye Hospital is located on Fountain Street, HU3 2JZ.

Please let us know if your child has any allergies or breathing and heart conditions so that we can document these.

Before the procedure, your child will be weighed to ensure the right amount of yellow dye is added to either water or juice. You will also be asked to sign a consent form, and your child will have drops put in their eyes to dilate the pupils. The drops will take 20 – 30 minutes to fully dilate the pupils for imaging. The drops will make your child’s vision blurred for 2 – 6 hours following the test.

You will be able to stay with your child throughout the procedure, however we may have to limit the number of people in the imaging room due to lack of space. If you need to bring other children we have a children’s’ waiting area they can use if accompanied by another adult.

Your child will be sat at a special camera to have the test and will have some conventional retinal photographs taken to document the appearance of the back of the eye. The technician will explain to your child that the lights will be bright. Your child will be asked to drink an orange drink which has been mixed with a small amount of yellow dye. It is best to drink it quickly if possible and a set of images will be taken on the camera.

The time it takes for the dye to start to show at the back of the eye can vary from 5 – 25 minutes and the technician will take photographs at intervals every few minutes until the end of the test. The length of test varies from person to person depending on what we see but usually takes no longer than 45 minutes to an hour after the orange drink. Your child will be asked to follow fixation targets and will be required to stay as still as possible.

What Happens Afterwards?

Your child will be monitored for at least an hour after the procedure for side effects; otherwise the results will go straight to the doctor who will then suggest appropriate further follow up. You will be able to discuss the results and any further treatment if indicated with the doctor at the next clinic appointment.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Ophthalmology Outpatient Department on (01482) 608788.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats your child, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to your child. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your child’s condition, the alternatives available for your child, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about your child

We collect and use your child’s information to provide your child with care and treatment. As part of your child’s care, information about your child will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your child’s information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide your child with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your child’s doctor, or the person caring for your child.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about your child. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you need information about your child’s (or a child you care for) health and wellbeing and their care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

QR code to open leaflet