Fractional Flow Reserve and Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography
A Review and Critical Analysis
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Invasive fractional flow reserve (FFR) is now the gold standard for intervention. Noninvasive functional imaging analyses derived from coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) offer alternatives for evaluating lesion-specific ischemia. CT-FFR, CT myocardial perfusion imaging, and transluminal attenuation gradient/corrected contrast opacification have been studied using invasive FFR as the gold standard. CT-FFR has demonstrated significant improvement in specificity and positive predictive value compared with CTA alone for predicting FFR of ≤0.80, as well as decreasing the frequency of nonobstructive invasive coronary angiography. High-risk plaque characteristics have also been strongly implicated in abnormal FFR. Myocardial computed tomographic perfusion is an alternative method with promising results; it involves more radiation and contrast. Transluminal attenuation gradient/corrected contrast opacification is more controversial and may be more related to vessel diameter than stenosis. Important considerations remain: (1) improvement of CTA quality to decrease unevaluable studies, (2) is the diagnostic accuracy of CT-FFR sufficient? (3) can CT-FFR guide intervention without invasive FFR confirmation? (4) what are the long-term outcomes of CT-FFR–guided treatment and how do they compare with other functional imaging-guided paradigms? (5) what degree of stenosis on CTA warrants CT-FFR? (6) how should high-risk plaque be incorporated into treatment decisions? (7) how will CT-FFR influence other functional imaging test utilization, and what will be the effect on the practice of cardiology? (8) will a workstation-based CT-FFR be mandatory? Rapid progress to date suggests that CTA-based lesion-specific ischemia will be the gatekeeper to the cardiac catheterization laboratory and will transform the world of intervention.
- atherosclerotic plaque
- cardiac catheterization
- coronary angiography
- myocardial perfusion imaging
- sensitivity and specificity
- Received February 24, 2016.
- Revision received May 18, 2016.
- Accepted May 25, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.