Importance of measurement site on assessment of lesion-specific ischemia and diagnostic performance by coronary computed tomography Angiography-Derived Fractional Flow Reserve

Elvis Cami, Beaumont Health
Travis Tagami, Beaumont Health
Gilbert Raff, Beaumont Health
Michael J. Gallagher, Beaumont Health
Austin Fan, Beaumont Health
Adam Hafeez, Beaumont Health
Stacy J. Willner, Beaumont Health
Priscilla Sigua Arce, Beaumont Health
Julie George, Beaumont Health
Abhay Bilolikar, Beaumont Health
Kavitha Chinnaiyan, Beaumont Health
Robert D. Safian, Beaumont Health


© 2020 Background: Values of fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) by coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) decline from the ostium to the terminal vessel, irrespective of stenosis severity. The purpose of this study is to determine if the site of measurement of FFRCT impacts assessment of ischemia and its diagnostic performance relative to invasive FFR (FFRINV). Methods: 1484 patients underwent FFRCT; 1910 vessels were stratified by stenosis severity (normal; 70% stenosis). The rates of positive FFRCT (≤0.8) were determined by measuring FFRCT from the terminal vessel and from distal-to-the-lesion. Reclassification rates from positive to negative FFRCT were calculated. Diagnostic performance of FFRCT relative to FFRINV was evaluated in 182 vessels using linear regression, Bland Altman analysis, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Results: Positive FFRCT was identified in 24.9% of vessels using terminal vessel FFRCT and 10.1% using FFRCT distal-to-the-lesion (p < 0.001). FFRCT obtained distal-to-the-lesion resulted in reclassification of 59.6% of positive terminal FFRCT to negative FFRCT. Relative to FFRINV, there were improvements in specificity (50% to 86%, p < 0.001), diagnostic accuracy (65% to 88%, p < 0.001), positive predictive value (50% to 78%, p < 0.001), and area-under-the-curve (AUC, 0.83 to 0.91, p < 0.001) when FFRCT was measured distal-to-the-lesion. Conclusion: FFRCT values from the terminal vessel should not be used to assess lesion-specific ischemia due to high rates of false positive results. FFRCT measured distal-to-the-lesion improves the diagnostic performance of FFRCT relative to FFRINV, ensures that FFRCT values are due to lesion-specific ischemia, and could reduce the rate of unnecessary invasive procedures.