Many patients wonder why they need extensive testing for retinal diseases. This is because there are many changes in the retina cannot be seen with our eyes alone and in order to examine the blood vessels in the retina, a test called angiography is needed. There are two types of special dyes used for retinal angiography: Fluorescein and indocyanine green.
ICG Angiography is essential to diagnose PCV
This dye is injected into your vein in your arm and a special camera takes photographs of the dye flowing through your retinal blood vessels. This is something like the angiogram done for heart attack patients to look for blockages in the blood vessels supplying the heart. Today, I would like to focus on a special green dye called indocyanine green(ICG) that is very useful to diagnose a type of AMD called polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV). PCV is very common in our Asian population and this test very useful for my patients. Once we pick up the abnormalities we are able to do a special targeted cold laser treatment called Photodynamic laser therapy (PDT). PDT is the best treatment for PCV compared to Anti-VEGF injections into the eyeball.
Heidelberg Spectralis Retinal Angiography
We now use the latest retinal imaging machine that uses a special camera with laser that is able to obtain high speed movies with higher contrast and greater detail for ICG angiography. This therefore enables greater accuracy in diagnosis and better targeted treatment for AMD patients. The whole test is over in 20 minutes and we can visualize the results at once.The risks of the test are very small and it is painless.
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