The value of noninvasive computed tomography derived fractional flow reserve in our current approach to the evaluation of coronary artery stenosis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Contemporary diagnosis and management of stable chest pain symptoms possibly due to coronary ischemia is a frequent clinical challenge that involves a variety of test options, based upon either coronary angiographic (anatomic) or functional imaging. This review will discuss the evolution of coronary computed tomography derived fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) from basic science to a currently clinically approved diagnostic test.

Recent findings

In recent years, FFR measured invasively in the coronary catheterization lab has demonstrated clinical outcome benefit for coronary revascularization decisions. Both coronary angiographic (anatomic) and functional myocardial imaging have been limited by an inability to reliably estimate physiologic significance determined by FFR. However, advances in computational fluid dynamics have led to interest in FFR estimated by coronary angiograms obtained noninvasively through coronary CT angiography.

Summary

The current use of FFRCT has been mostly limited to research applications due to lack of availability and cost, as well as limited outcomes and cost-effectiveness data. Nevertheless, interest remains in the potential role of FFRCT for coronary revascularization treatment decisions, and thus, ongoing and future studies will continue to investigate this technology.

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