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Fluorescein and Photographic Imaging Services

The Retina Service provides a number of diagnostic photographic and imaging services for out-patient referrals.  Referring physicians may order imaging services by contacting the Fluorescein Service at 617-573-3577.

Fluorescein angiography is a procedure that is ordered by an ophthalmologist in order to evaluate the retinal circulation system in the eyes. The test highlights any abnormalities that may be present with the front or back of the eye and takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The eyes are dilated and the patient’s vital signs and medication history are obtained. A small amount of a benign synthetic dye is administered intravenously and a series of photographs are taken while the dye enters and exits the circulatory systems within the eye.

ICG (indo-cyanine green) angiography is also a photographic study ordered by an ophthalmologist in order to evaluate the choroidal circulation of the retina and takes approximately 30 minutes. A small amount of this dye is administered intravenously and a series of photographs are taken as the dye enters and exits the vessels in the eyes, highlighting any abnormalities that may be present.

Color photography is performed on patients in order to document findings seen on clinical examinations. This category includes wide-angle photos, external photos, slit-lamp photography, and full face photography.  Photographs of the posterior (rear) segment of the eye require dilation in most cases.

SD OCT (spectoral domain ocular coherence tomography) is a measurement of the retinal tissue thickness in the eye. The test usually requires dilation and takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

ERG (electroretinogram) is a performed on patients to evaluate retinal function, mainly rods and cones, and is performed at Mass. Eye and Ear in both the Berman Gund Lab and the Retina Service. The Retina Service performs both full-field ERG and multi-focal ERG. This test requires dilation of the eyes and is approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours in duration.

It is recommended that patients bring sunglasses and have a ride home for any eye exam that requires dilation or utilizes medication.


Appointments for the above testing procedures can be made by contacting the Fluorescein Lab in the Retina Service at Mass. Eye and Ear at 617-573-3577. All patients should check with their insurance providers to see if they require a referral for any of the procedures. Additionally, all patients need to register and provide insurance information before their appointments. The Fluorescein Lab is located on the 12th floor of our main building in Boston.