Coronary CT Angiography–derived Fractional Flow Reserve: Machine Learning Algorithm versus Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling

Purpose:  To compare two technical approaches for determination of coronary computed tomography (CTangiography-derived fractional flowreserve (FFR)-FFR derived from coronary CT angiography based on computational fluid dynamics (hereafter, FFRCFD) and FFR derived from coronary CT angiography based on machine learning algorithm (hereafter, FFRML)-against coronary CT angiography and quantitative coronary angiography (QCA).

Materials and Methods:  A total of 85 patients (mean age, 62 years ± 11 [standard deviation]; 62% men) who had undergone coronary CT angiography followed by invasive FFR were included in this single-center retrospective study. FFR values were derived on-site from coronary CT angiography data sets by using both FFRCFD and FFRML. The performance of both techniques for detecting lesion-specific ischemia was compared against visual stenosis grading at coronary CT angiography, QCA, and invasive FFR as the reference standard.

Results:  On a per-lesion and per-patient level, FFRML showed a sensitivity of 79% and 90% and a specificity of 94% and 95%, respectively, for detecting lesion-specific ischemia. Meanwhile, FFRCFD resulted in a sensitivity of 79% and 89% and a specificity of 93% and 93%, respectively, on a per-lesion and per-patient basis (P = .86 and P = .92). On a per-lesion level, the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) of 0.89 for FFRML and 0.89 for FFRCFD showed significantly higher discriminatory power for detecting lesion-specific ischemia compared with that of coronary CT angiography (AUC, 0.61) and QCA (AUC, 0.69) (all P < .0001). Also, on a per-patient level, FFRML (AUC, 0.91) and FFRCFD (AUC, 0.91) performed significantly better than did coronary CT angiography (AUC, 0.65) and QCA (AUC, 0.68) (all P < .0001). Processing time for FFRML was significantly shorter compared with that of FFRCFD (40.5 minutes ± 6.3 vs 43.4 minutes ± 7.1; P = .042).

Conclusion:  The FFRML algorithm performs equally in detecting lesion-specific ischemia when compared with the FFRCFD approach. Both methods outperform accuracy of coronary CT angiography and QCA in the detection of flow-limiting stenosis. 

PMID: 29634438

Posted in Computed Tomography.

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