Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Interv Cardiol. 1998 Mar;3(1):13-20.

Functional assessment of collaterals in the human coronary circulation.

Author information

Cardiology, University Hospital, Berne, Switzerland.


The coronary collateral circulation is an alternative source of blood supply to a myocardial area jeopardized by the failure of the stenotic or occluded vessel to provide enough blood flow to this region. Until recently, only qualitative or semiqualitative methods have been available for the assessment of the coronary collateral circulation in humans, such as the patient's history of walk-through angina pectoris, the registration of intracoronary ECG signs for myocardial ischaemia or angina pectoris during coronary occlusion, or coronary angiographic classification (score 0-3) of collaterals. Studies of coronary wedge pressure measurements distal of a balloon-occluded coronary artery and the recent advent of ultrathin pressure and Doppler angioplasty guidewires have made it possible to obtain pressure or flow velocity data in remote vascular areas and, thus, to calculate functional variables for coronary collateral flow. Those coronary occlusive pressure- and flow velocity-derived parameters express collateral flow as a fraction of antegrade coronary flow during vessel patency of the collateral-receiving vessel. They are both interchangeable, and they have been validated in comparison to 'traditional' methods and against each other. The possibility of accurately measuring coronary collateral flow indices in humans undergoing coronary balloon angioplasty opens areas of investigation of the pathogenesis, pathophysiology and therapeutic promotion of the collateral circulation previously reserved for exclusively experimental studies. The purpose of this article is to review several clinically available methods for the functional characterization of the coronary collateral circulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center