Clinical Management of Patients with Coronary Syndromes and Negative Fractional Flow Reserve Findings

From the Servicio de Cardiología, Unidad de Hemodinámica, Hospital Clinico Universitario Virgen de la Victoria, Campus de Teatinos, Málaga, Spain
Journal of Interventional Cardiology (Impact Factor: 1.18). 09/2001; 14(5):505 - 510. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-8183.2001.tb00366.x


Aims: New interventional techniques to diagnose coronary artery stenosis, such as calculation of myocardial fractional flow reserve (FFR) with a guidewire and pressure transducer, provide a functional assessment of coronary lesions. The present study was designed to investigate the occurrence of cardiac events in patients with coronary syndromes and negative FFR findings in moderately severe coronary stenosis in order to determine the usefulness of this technique in predicting coronary events during follow-up for problems commonly encountered in clinical practice. A further objective was to evaluate the safety of deferring angioplasty in patients with a negative FFR result. Methods: We studied 43 patients with 44 moderately severe coronary artery stenoses on angiography and FFR ≤ 0.75. Mean age of the patients was 58 ± 11.4 years. The indications for coronary angiography included recent unstable angina in 24 (55.8%) patients, recent acute myocardial infarction in 10 (23.2%) patients, 5 (11.6%) patients with a coronary stent who had symptoms of uncertain cause, and stable angina in 4 (9.3%) patients. Results: During a mean follow-up period of 10.7 ± 5.9 months, clinical events (unstable angina) occurred in five patients. In three patients, the initially investigated artery was involved, and in the two patients who required coronary revascularizatian, unstable angina was related with an artery different from the one studied initially. Conclusions: Patients with recent coronary syndromes and negative FFR findings in moderately severe coronary stenosis were unlikely to have cardiac events during a 10-month follow-up period. Our findings suggest that FFR is a potentially useful indicator of the likelihood of cardiac events and thus represents a useful aid in clinical decision-making in the hentodynamics laboratory. This diagnostic technique also is potentially useful in identifying patients for whom angioplasty can be safely deferred.

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    ABSTRACT: Calculation of myocardial fractional flow reserve (FFR) enables coronary stenoses to be evaluated. We determined the usefulness of measuring the FFR in multivessel coronary artery disease, reflected in changes in the therapeutic options for patients with moderate coronary stenosis. We studied 38 patients (30 men, 8 women; mean age: 59.8+/-10 years) with multivessel coronary artery disease with 41 moderate lesions. Indications for coronary angiography were unstable angina in 24 patients (60%), acute myocardial infarction in 10 (27%), and stable angina in 4 (13%). We studied the FFR (in nonactive lesions) in the left anterior descending artery in 23 patients (56%), the left coronary trunk in 8 (19.5%), the circumflex artery in 5 (12.2%), the right coronary artery in 3 (7.3%), and the left internal mammary artery and diagonal branch in 1 patient each. Twelve patients had a positive FFR, which resulted in no change in the mode of revascularization; 26 patients had a negative FFR, in 20 (77%) of whom the revascularization approach was changed, especially those with moderate lesions of the left coronary trunk or anterior descending artery. No differences were detected in the angiographic characteristics of the lesions examined. Cardiac events during follow-up were few. The results of FFR may influence the decision-making process after diagnostic coronary angiography in multivessel coronary artery disease with moderate lesions, especially in patients with a negative FFR in nonculprit lesions of the left trunk or left anterior descending artery.
    No preview · Article · May 2006 · Journal of Interventional Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is often performed to assess the severity of coronary artery stenoses. However, the usefulness of measuring FFR when a noninvasive test has been obtained prior to coronary angiography has not been studied. We retrospectively reviewed 122 patients who underwent noninvasive stress test with cardiac imaging (SPECT or stress echocardiography) prior to FFR assessment of a coronary lesion. The usefulness of FFR measurement was determined. FFR was judged useful if decision to revascularize the patient reflected the result of FFR rather than the result of the stress test. A total of 136 lesions were evaluated. Of these, 66 were associated with a positive noninvasive test and 70 had no ischemia present in the territory of the evaluated vessel. When FFR was negative (> or =0.75) and the test positive (57 lesions), revascularization was deferred in 55. When FFR was positive (<0.75) and the functional test negative (8 lesions), revascularization was performed in 8. FFR measurement changed the clinical decision to revascularize the patient in 55 (83%) of the 66 lesions with ischemia documented on noninvasive tests compared to 8 (11%) of the 70 lesions without ischemia (P<.0001). FFR can be helpful in patients with coronary artery disease even when noninvasive testing is performed prior to coronary angiography. In this study, FFR measurement had the greatest impact in the evaluation of lesions with documented ischemia on noninvasive tests. In these patients, appropriate use of FFR based on the operator's judgment can prevent unnecessary revascularizations of intermediate lesions.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Cardiovascular revascularization medicine: including molecular interventions
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    ABSTRACT: Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is an index of the physiological significance of a coronary stenosis. Patients who have lesions with a FFR of >0.80, even optimally treated with medication, have however a MACE rate ranging from 8 to 21%. Coronary plaques at high risk of rupture and clinical events can be also identified by virtual histology intravascular ultrasound (IVUS-VH) as plaques with high amount of necrotic core (NC) abutting the lumen. Aim of this exploratory study was to investigate whether the geometry and composition of lesions with FFR ≤ 0.80 were different from their counterparts. Fifty-five consecutive patients in whom FFR was clinically indicated on a moderate angiographic lesion, received also an imaging investigation on the same lesion with IVUS-VH. Data on plaque geometry and composition was analyzed. Patients were subdivided in two groups according to the value of FFR (> or ≤0.80). Lesions with a FFR ≤ 0.80 (n = 17) showed a slightly larger plaque burden than those with FFR > 0.80 (n = 38) (54.6 ± 0.7% vs. 51.7 ± 0.7% P = 0.1). In addition, they tend to have less content of necrotic core than their counterparts (14.2 ± 8% vs. 19.2 ± 10.2%, P = 0.08). No difference was found in the distribution of NC-rich plaques (fibroatheroma and thin-capped fibroatheroma) between groups (82% in FFR ≤ 0.80 vs. 79% in FFR > 0.80, P = 0.5). Although FFR ≤ 0.80 lesions have larger plaque size, they do not differ in composition from the ones with FFR > 0.80. Further exploration in a large prospective study is needed to study whether the lesions with FFR > 0.80 that are NC rich are the ones associated with the presence of clinical events at follow-up.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · The international journal of cardiovascular imaging
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