Physiological Pattern of Disease Assessed by Pressure-Wire Pullback Has an Influence on Fractional Flow Reserve/Instantaneous Wave-Free Ratio Discordance

Circ Cardiovasc Interv. 2019 May;12(5):e007494. doi: 10.1161/CIRCINTERVENTIONS.118.007494.


Background: Fractional flow reserve (FFR) and instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) disagree on the hemodynamic significance of a coronary lesion in ≈20% of cases. It is unknown whether the physiological pattern of disease is an influencing factor for this. This study assessed whether the physiological pattern of coronary artery disease influences discordance between FFR and iFR measurement.

Methods and results: Three-hundred and sixty intermediate coronary lesions (345 patients; mean age, 64.4±10.3 years; 76% men) with combined FFR, iFR, and iFR pressure-wire pullback were included for analysis from an international multicenter registry. Cut points for hemodynamic significance were FFR ≤0.80 and iFR ≤0.89, respectively. Lesions were classified into FFR+/iFR+ (n=154; 42.7%), FFR-/iFR+ (n=38; 10.6%), FFR+/iFR- (n=41; 11.4%), and FFR-/iFR- (n=127; 35.3%) groups. The physiological pattern of disease was classified according to the iFR pullback recordings as predominantly physiologically focal (n=171; 47.5%) or predominantly physiologically diffuse (n=189; 52.5%). Median FFR and iFR were 0.80 (interquartile range, 0.75-0.85) and 0.89 (interquartile range, 0.86-0.92), respectively. FFR disagreed with iFR in 22% (79 of 360). The physiological pattern of disease was the only influencing factor relating to FFR/iFR discordance: predominantly physiologically focal was significantly associated with FFR+/iFR- (58.5% [24 of 41]), and predominantly physiologically diffuse was significantly associated with FFR-/iFR+ (81.6% [31 of 38]; P<0.001 for pattern of disease between FFR+/iFR- and FFR-/iFR+ groups).

Conclusions: The physiological pattern of coronary artery disease was an important influencing factor for FFR/iFR discordance.

Keywords: coronary artery disease; fractional flow reserve, myocardial; hemodynamics; humans; registries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Catheterization*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fractional Flow Reserve, Myocardial*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Registries
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies