Diagnosis of Ischemia-Causing Coronary Stenoses by Noninvasive Fractional Flow Reserve Computed From Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiograms

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic performance of a new method for quantifying fractional flow reserve (FFR) with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applied to coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) data in patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease (CAD). Measurement of FFR during invasive coronary angiography is the gold standard for identifying coronary artery lesions that cause ischemia and improves clinical decision-making for revascularization. Computation of FFR from CCTA data (FFRCT) provides a noninvasive method for identifying ischemia-causing stenosis; however, the diagnostic performance of this new method is unknown.

METHODS: Computation of FFR from CCTA data was performed on 159 vessels in 103 patients undergoing CCTA, invasive coronary angiography, and FFR. Independent core laboratories determined FFRCT and CAD stenosis severity by CCTA. Ischemia was defined by an FFRCT and FFR 0.80, and anatomically obstructive CAD was defined as a CCTA with stenosis 50%. Diagnostic performance of FFRCT and CCTA stenosis was assessed with invasive FFR as the reference standard.

RESULTS: Fifty-six percent of patients had 1 vessel with FFR 0.80. On a per-vessel basis, the accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 84.3%, 87.9%, 82.2%, 73.9%, 92.2%, respectively, for FFRCT and were 58.5%, 91.4%, 39.6%, 46.5%, 88.9%, respectively, for CCTA stenosis. The area under the receiver-operator characteristics curve was 0.90 for FFRCT and 0.75 for CCTA (p = 0.001). The FFRCT and FFR were well correlated (r = 0.717, p < 0.001) with a slight underestimation by FFRCT (0.022 ± 0.116, p = 0.016).

CONCLUSIONS: Noninvasive FFR derived from CCTA is a novel method with high diagnostic performance for the detection and exclusion of coronary lesions that cause ischemia.


Posted in Computed Tomography, Invasive Imaging and tagged , , , , , .


  1. With this CT approach, FFR is derived from anatomic information. How does it work in the context of significantly calcified lesions, where the anatomic data is unreliable?

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