Coronary Flow Capacity to Identify Stenosis Associated With Coronary Flow Improvement After Revascularization: A Combined Analysis From DEFINE FLOW and IDEAL

J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Jul 21;9(14):e016130. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.016130. Epub 2020 Jul 14.


Background Coronary flow capacity (CFC), which is a categorical assessment based on the combination of hyperemic coronary flow and coronary flow reserve (CFR), has been introduced as a comprehensive assessment of the coronary circulation to overcome the limitations of CFR alone. The aim of this study was to quantify coronary flow changes after percutaneous coronary intervention in relation to the classification of CFC and the current physiological cutoff values of fractional flow reserve, instantaneous wave-free ratio, and CFR. Methods and Results Using the combined data set from DEFINE FLOW (Distal Evaluation of Functional Performance With Intravascular Sensors to Assess the Narrowing Effect -Combined Pressure and Doppler FLOW Velocity Measurements) and IDEAL (Iberian-Dutch-English), a total of 133 vessels that underwent intracoronary Doppler flow measurement before and after percutaneous coronary intervention were analyzed. CFC classified prerevascularization lesions as normal (14), mildly reduced (40), moderately reduced (31), and severely reduced (48). Lesions with larger impairment of CFC showed greater increase in coronary flow and vice versa (median percent increase in coronary flow by revascularization: 4.2%, 25.9%, 50.1%, and 145.5%, respectively; P<0.001). Compared with the conventional cutoff values of fractional flow reserve, instantaneous wave-free ratio, and CFR, an ischemic CFC defined as moderately to severely reduced CFC showed higher diagnostic accuracy with higher specificity to predict a >50% increase in coronary flow after percutaneous coronary intervention. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrated that only CFC has a superior predictive efficacy to CFR (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis revealed lesions with ischemic CFC to be the independent predictor of a significant coronary flow increase after percutaneous coronary intervention (odds ratio, 10.7; 95% CI, 4.6-24.8; P<0.001). Conclusions CFC showed significant improvement of identification of lesions that benefit from revascularization compared with CFR with respect to coronary flow increase. Registration URL:; Unique identifier: NCT02328820.

Keywords: coronary blood flow; coronary flow capacity; coronary flow reserve; fractional flow reserve; percutaneous coronary intervention.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Coronary Stenosis / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Stenosis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention*

Associated data