A more sensitive pressure-based index to estimate collateral blood supply in case of coronary three-vessel disease
With progressive occlusion of a coronary main artery, some anastomotic vessels are recruited in order to supply blood to the ischemic region. This collateral circulation is an important factor in the preservation of the myocardium until reperfusion of the area at risk. An accurate estimation of collateral flow is crucial in surgical bypass planning as it alters the blood flow distribution in the coronary network and can influence the outcome of a given treatment for a given patient. The evaluation of collateral flow is frequently achieved using an index based on pressure measurements. It is named Collateral Flow Index (CFI) and defined as: (P(w)-P(v))/(P(ao)-P(v)), where P(w) is the pressure distal to the thrombosis, P(ao) the aortic pressure and P(v) the central venous pressure. We propose here another index, that is more sensitive to the P(w) value and could thus describe the role of collateral flow with more precision. We illustrate this idea using some clinical pressure measurements in patients with severe coronary disease (stenoses on the left branches and total occlusion of the right coronary artery).
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