Patients requiring fluorescein angiography to diagnose retinal abnormalities can now be diagnosed and treated in the same visit thanks to a new technology called digital angiography.
Using a camera and special computer, the digital imaging system provides immediate access to high resolution images of a patient’s ocular tissue without waiting 2–7 days for film development. The images can be reviewed on the computer screen or printed out in hard copy.
Having the images immediately on screen allows us to explain the problem and treatment goals better to our patients, and we can provide the images quicker to the referring physicians. The digital system often allows us to treat the problem that day so patients don’t have to make another appointment. Another advantage is that new images can be superimposed on old ones for comparisons, affording us better monitoring of patients’ conditions over time.At the same time, pictures can be taken of the iris (the colored part of the front of the eye). This is called anterior segment or iris angiography. This is a procedure that is especially important in certain diabetic, vein occlusion, and eye tumor patients to detect early abnormal blood vessel growth (neovascularization) before it is detectable with the naked eye. This can allow earlier treatment, preventing a devastating form of fast-moving glaucoma called neovascular glaucoma.