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Ophthalmology. 1991 Jul;98(7):1139-42.

Frequency of adverse systemic reactions after fluorescein angiography. Results of a prospective study.

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Retinal Vascular Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore.


Intravenous fluorescein angiography is a commonly performed and extraordinarily valuable diagnostic procedure. The frequency of adverse reactions after angiography has varied considerably in previous reports. In a prospective study of 2789 angiographic procedures in 2025 patients, the authors found that the percentage of adverse reactions depended strongly on the patient's angiographic history. Overall, adverse reactions followed 4.8% of the angiographic procedures. These reactions included nausea (2.9%), vomiting (1.2%), flushing/itching/hives (0.5%), and other reactions (dyspnea, syncope, excessive sneezing) (0.2%). No cases of anaphylaxis, myocardial infarction, pulmonary edema, or seizures occurred. The percentage of reactions was 1.8% for patients who had had previous angiography without ever having had an adverse reaction. In contrast, the percentage of reactions was 48.6% for patients who had had an adverse reaction to angiography previously.

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