Diastolic fractional flow reserve to assess the functional severity of moderate coronary artery stenoses: comparison with fractional flow reserve and coronary flow velocity reserve

M Abe, H Tomiyama, H Yoshida, N Doba
Circulation 2000 November 7, 102 (19): 2365-70

BACKGROUND: Coronary blood flow occurs mainly during the diastolic phase of each cardiac cycle and is mainly dependent on diastolic driving pressure, especially in the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). We hypothesized that calculation of the ratio of the diastolic driving pressure of a stenotic LAD to its normal value, namely diastolic FFR (d-FFR), might provide precise insight into the mechanism of FFR for assessment of the functional severity of the stenosis. We compared d-FFR with FFR, coronary flow reserve (CFR), and exercise myocardial thallium scintigraphy in an lesion of intermediate severity.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The study population consisted of 46 consecutive patients with a moderate stenosis in the LAD in whom simultaneous measurements of aortic pressure, left ventricular pressure, and coronary pressure distal to the stenosis were obtained. Coronary flow velocity was successfully measured with a Doppler guidewire in 37 of the 46 patients. Values for FFR, d-FFR, and CFR in the noninvasive test-positive group were significantly lower than those in the negative group. With cutoff values of 0.75, 0.76, and 2.0 for FFR, d-FFR, and CFR, sensitivities were 83.3%, 95.8%, and 88.2% and specificities were 100%, 100%, and 95.0%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The close similarity of the sensitivity and specificity of FFR and d-FFR, around almost identical cutoff values (0.75 versus 0.76), confirms the physiological validity of FFR as a clinical standard. In clinical practice, FFR remains the index of choice for assessment of the functional severity of moderate coronary artery stenoses.

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