Oral fluorescein angiography with the confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope

Ophthalmology. 1999 Jun;106(6):1114-8. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(99)90264-6.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of oral fluorescein angiography with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) system.

Design: Comparative case series.

Participants: The authors used a confocal SLO (Heidelberg Retina Angiograph [HRA]) to perform oral fluorescein angiography in 47 patients, 13 of whom were without any retinal disease and 34 with a variety of retinal diseases including macular holes and pucker, inflammatory diseases, retinal vascular diseases, and age-related macular degeneration. The images were also compared to images taken with a fundus camera after intravenous fluorescein injections in patients on whom both studies were done.

Intervention: Color fundus photographs were taken of each eye (30 degrees fundus camera) before drinking 4 ml of 25% sodium fluorescein mixed with 60 ml of orange juice. After oral fluorescein ingestion, images of each eye were taken with a fundus camera (TriX film) and the HRA (using 512- x 512-pixel resolution). The images were repeated at 0-, 2.5-, 5-, 7.5-, 10-, 12.5-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-minute intervals. Twenty of the 47 patients underwent intravenous fluorescein angiography performed with the fundus camera.

Main outcome measure: Images were analyzed by a masked reader, and foveal avascular zone visualization, branch retinal vessel identification, and image quality were scored. Statistical analysis was performed with a t test for paired data with a two-tailed test of significance (alpha = 0.05).

Results: Foveal avascular zone was 100% as seen in 16 eyes (47%) in the HRA machine versus 1 eye (2%) in the conventional fundus camera (P < 0.0001). The third-order branch retinal vessels were identified in 59% of eyes in the HRA versus 26% in the fundus camera group (P < 0.0001), and the image quality was considered comparable to an intravenous angiogram in 47% with the HRA versus 9% with the conventional fundus camera (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Oral fluorescein angiography using the HRA produces sufficiently detailed images to diagnose, treat, and follow many types of retinal pathology.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fluorescein / administration & dosage*
  • Fluorescein Angiography / instrumentation
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods*
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lasers*
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoscopes*
  • Photography
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology*


  • Fluorescein