Background: Although its limitations for diagnosing critical coronary artery disease are well described, coronary angiography remains the predominant method for guiding decisions about stent implantation in patients with multivessel coronary artery disease. However, some have suggested that invasive physiologic guidance may improve decision making.
Trial design: The objective of this multicenter, randomized clinical trial is to compare the efficacy of 2 strategies, one based on angiographic guidance to one based on physiologic guidance with fractional flow reserve (FFR), for deciding which coronary lesions to stent in patients with multivessel coronary disease. Eligible patients must have coronary narrowings > 50% diameter stenosis in > or = 2 major epicardial vessels, > or = 2 of which the investigator feels require drug-eluting stent placement. Patients with previous coronary bypass surgery or left main coronary disease are excluded. Based on angiographic evaluation, the investigator notes the lesions that require stenting. The patient is then randomly assigned to either angiographic guidance or FFR guidance. Patients assigned to angiographic guidance undergo stenting as planned. Patients assigned to FFR guidance first have FFR measured in each diseased vessel and only undergo stenting if the FFR is < or = 0.80. The primary end point of the study is a composite of major adverse cardiac events, including death, myocardial infarction, and repeat coronary revascularization, at 1 year. Secondary end points will include the individual adverse events, cost-effectiveness, quality of life, and 30-day, 6-month, 2-year, and 5-year outcomes.
Conclusion: The FAME study will examine for the first time in a large, multicenter, randomized fashion the role of measuring FFR in patients undergoing multivessel percutaneous coronary intervention.