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Herz. 2011 Aug;36(5):410-6. doi: 10.1007/s00059-011-3486-8.

Myocardial fractional flow reserve. Its role in guiding PCI in stable coronary artery disease.

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  • 1Medizinische Klinik II-Kardiologie und Angiologie, BG Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, Bochum,Germany.


Revascularization of coronary artery lesions should be based on objective evidence of ischemia, as recommended by the guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology. However, even in the case of stable coronary artery disease and elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), pre-procedural noninvasive stress test results are available in a minority of patients only. It is common practice for physicians to make decisions on revascularization in the catheterization laboratory after a cursory review of the angiogram, despite the well-recognized inaccuracy of such an approach. Myocardial fractional flow reserve (FFR) measured by a coronary pressure wire is a specific index of the functional significance of a coronary lesion, with superior diagnostic accuracy for the detection of ischemia than any noninvasive stress test. FFR trials on patients with single and multivessel disease, such as the DEFER and FAME studies, have demonstrated that the clinical benefit of PCI with respect to patient outcome is greatest when revascularization is limited to lesions inducing ischemia, whereas lesions not inducing ischemia should be treated medically.

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