OBJECTIVES: Catheter-based angiography is the reference-standard to establish coronary anatomy. While routinely employed clinically, lumen assessment correlates poorly with physiological measures of ischaemia. Moreover, functional studies to identify and localise ischaemia before elective angiography are often not available. This article reviews fractional flow reserve (FFR) and its role in guiding patient management for patients with a potentially haemodynamic significant coronary lesion.
METHODS: This review discusses the theory, evidence, indications, and limitations of FFR. Also included are emerging non-invasive imaging FFR surrogates currently under evaluation for accuracy with respect to standard FFR.
RESULTS: Coronary pressure-derived fractional flow reserve (FFR) rapidly assesses the haemodynamic significance of individual coronaryartery lesions and can readily be performed in the catheterisation laboratory. The use of FFR has been shown to effectively guide coronaryrevascularization procedures leading to improved patient outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: FFR is an invaluable modality in guiding coronary disease treatment decisions. It is safe, cost-effective and leads to improved patient outcomes. Non-invasive imaging modalities to assess the physiologic significance of CAD are currently beingâ€‰ developed and evaluated.