Differential Improvement in Angina and Health-Related Quality of Life After PCI in Focal and Diffuse Coronary Artery Disease

JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2022 Dec 26;15(24):2506-2518. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2022.09.048. Epub 2022 Nov 30.


Background: An increase in fractional flow reserve (FFR) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is associated with improvement in angina. Coronary artery disease (CAD) patterns (focal vs diffuse) influence the FFR change after stenting and may predict angina relief.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the differential improvement in patient-reported outcomes after PCI in focal and diffuse CAD as defined by the pullback pressure gradient (PPG).

Methods: This is a subanalysis of the TARGET-FFR (Trial of Angiography vs. pressure-Ratio-Guided Enhancement Techniques-Fractional Flow Reserve) randomized clinical trial. The 7-item Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ-7) was administered at baseline and 3 months after PCI. The PPG index was calculated from manual pre-PCI FFR pullbacks. The median PPG value was used to define focal and diffuse CAD. Residual angina was defined as an SAQ-7 score <100.

Results: A total of 103 patients were analyzed. There were no differences in the baseline characteristics between patients with focal and diffuse CAD. Focal disease had larger increases in FFR after PCI than patients with diffuse disease (0.30 ± 0.14 vs 0.19 ± 0.12; P < 0.001). Patients with focal disease who underwent PCI for focal CAD had significantly higher SAQ-7 summary scores at follow-up than those with diffuse CAD (87.1 ± 20.3 vs 75.6 ± 24.4; mean difference = 11.5 [95% CI: 2.8-20.3]; P = 0.01). After PCI, residual angina was present in 39.8% but was significantly less in those with treated focal CAD (27.5% vs 51.9%; P = 0.020).

Conclusions: Residual angina after PCI was almost twice as common in patients with a low PPG (diffuse disease), whereas patients with a high PPG (focal disease) reported greater improvement in angina and quality of life. The baseline pattern of CAD can predict the likelihood of angina relief. (Trial of Angiography vs. pressure-Ratio-Guided Enhancement Techniques-Fractional Flow Reserve [TARGET-FFR]; NCT03259815).

Keywords: angina; coronary physiology; diffuse disease; percutaneous coronary intervention; revascularization.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angina Pectoris / diagnostic imaging
  • Angina Pectoris / therapy
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / therapy
  • Fractional Flow Reserve, Myocardial*
  • Humans
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / adverse effects
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03259815