The Use of Fractional Flow Reserve for Physiological Assessment of Indeterminate Lesions in Peripheral Artery Disease

Cureus. 2019 Apr 12;11(4):e4445. doi: 10.7759/cureus.4445.


Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a prevalent disorder in the United States, associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) is a physiological test used to assess the hemodynamic significance of intermediate lesions on conventional angiography. It is well studied in coronary artery disease and is as an important tool to guide decisions regarding revascularization in a significant percentage of patients with intermediate lesions. As compared to coronary FFR, the use of FFR in peripheral artery disease (PFFR) is much less prevalent. Overall data regarding the use of the PFFR is sparse. There are limited studies that have shown the correlation of PFFR with non-invasive testing including ankle-brachial index (ABI) and Doppler Imaging. Unlike coronary FFR, the optimal pharmaceutical agents and doses to induce maximal hyperemia in the peripheral vascular bed are also not well established. Moreover, there are no established standardized procedural protocols for measuring PFFR. Various studies have employed varying techniques, hyperemic agents and doses. The aim of this literature review is to summarize the current evidence on PFFR, the correlation with noninvasive studies used in PAD and to increase awareness of the potential role of the PFFR in peripheral interventions.

Keywords: ankle brachial index; doppler ultrasound; fractional flow reserve; hyperemia.

Publication types

  • Review