Usefulness of fractional flow reserve measurements to defer revascularization in patients with stable or unstable angina pectoris, non-ST-elevation and ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction, or atypical chest pain

Am J Cardiol. 2006 Aug 1;98(3):289-97. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2006.02.032. Epub 2006 Jun 6.


This study determined the safety of deferring coronary revascularization based on a fractional flow reserve (FFR) value > or = 0.75 in a series of consecutive unselected coronary patients with moderate coronary lesions, including patients with unstable angina, myocardial infarction (MI), and/or positive noninvasive test findings. The study included 201 consecutive coronary patients (mean age 62 +/- 10 years; 65% men) with 231 lesions evaluated by FFR measurement for which revascularization was deferred based on a FFR value > or = 0.75. Lesions associated with a positive noninvasive test result were those located in an artery supplying a myocardial territory in which myocardial ischemia was demonstrated by a noninvasive test. Cardiac events (cardiac death, MI, revascularization) and Canadian Cardiovascular Society angina class were evaluated at follow-up. Indications for coronary angiography included unstable angina or MI (62%), stable angina (30%), or atypical chest pain (8%). Forty-four patients (22%) had > or = 1 coronary lesion associated with a positive noninvasive test result in which FFR was evaluated. Mean FFR value was 0.87 +/- 0.06 and mean lesion percent diameter stenosis was 41 +/- 8%. At 11 +/- 6 months of follow-up, cardiac events occurred in 20 patients (10%), and no significant differences were observed between patients with unstable angina or MI and those with stable angina (9% vs 13%, p = 0.44) or between patients with and without lesions associated with positive noninvasive test results (9% vs 10%, p = 1.00). At the end of follow-up, 88% of patients were asymptomatic in angina class 0 or I, with no differences across various groups. In conclusion, these results suggest that patients with moderate coronary lesions can be safely managed without revascularization on the basis of FFR measurements, irrespective of clinical presentation and/or presence of positive noninvasive test results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Angina Pectoris / diagnostic imaging
  • Angina Pectoris / physiopathology*
  • Angina Pectoris / surgery
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Chest Pain / diagnostic imaging
  • Chest Pain / physiopathology*
  • Chest Pain / surgery
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology*
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery
  • Myocardial Revascularization*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index