Interpreting results of coronary computed tomography angiography-derived fractional flow reserve in clinical practice
Cardiac Imaging Techniques
Comparative Effectiveness Research
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
© 2017 The application of computational fluid dynamics to coronary computed tomography angiography allows Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) to be calculated non-invasively (FFR CT ), enabling computation of FFR from coronary computed tomography angiography acquired at rest both for individual lesions as well as along the entire course of a coronary artery. FFR CT , validated in a number of accuracy studies and a large clinical utility trial, is beginning to penetrate clinical practice. Importantly, while accuracy trials compared FFR CT to invasively measured FFR at a single point in the coronary tree, clinical reports of FFR CT provide information regarding a patient's entire coronary vasculature. Specifically, in distal coronary segments, calculated FFR CT values may be low and below 0.80 even in the absence of localized stenoses within the course of the artery. As a result, the reporting physician needs to understand how to interpret the findings in a clinically useful and thoughtful fashion. This review provides a brief overview of the background of both invasively measured and computationally derived FFR, explains changes in FFR along the course of normal coronary arteries and those affected by coronary atherosclerosis, and outlines the relevance of measurement location when interpreting and reporting FFR and FFR CT results.
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