Diagnostic performance of angiography-derived fractional flow reserve in patients with NSTEMI

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2022 Dec 28. doi: 10.1002/ccd.30526. Online ahead of print.


Noninvasive methods of estimating invasively measured fractional flow reserve (FFRinvasive ) are actively being explored, aiming to avoid the use of an invasive pressure wire and the administration of hyperemia-inducing drugs. Coronary angiography-derived FFR (FFRangio ) has already demonstrated its diagnostic performance in the context of stable coronary artery disease. However, its applicability in the context of non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) has yet to be established. We sought to determine the diagnostic performance of FFRangio exclusively in patients presenting with NSTEMI. We performed a prospective, single-center, single-arm, double-blinded study comparing FFR calculated by FFRangio to FFRinvasive in NSTEMI patients. FFRinvasive was measured in all angiographically intermediate lesions (30%-70% stenosis) and was then compared to FFRangio which was calculated at the same position, by a blinded operator. The primary endpoints were the sensitivity and specificity of FFRangio for predicting FFRinvasive using a cut-off value of ≤0.80. Among 100 NSTEMI patients who were screened, 46 patients with 60 vessels in total underwent FFRinvasive and were included in the study. The mean value of FFRinvasive was 0.83 ± 0.3 with 22 (36%) being ≤0.80 while the mean FFRangio was 0.82 ± 0.1 with 22 (36%) being ≤0.80. FFRangio exhibited a sensitivity of 95.5%, a specificity of 97.4%, and a diagnostic accuracy of 96.7%. FFRangio can precisely and noninvasively estimate FFRinvasive in acute coronary syndromes and may have a role in guiding treatment decisions related to angiographically intermediate coronary lesions in this context.

What is known: FFRangio has demonstrated its diagnostic performance in validation studies, as a noninvasive and cost-effective method in the context of stable coronary artery disease but its performance has never been exclusively evaluated in NSTEMI patients.

What is new: The present prospective single-center study demonstrates the excellent diagnostic performance of FFRangio in detecting functionally significant coronary artery stenosis in the setting of NSTEMI, providing more confidence in utilizing FFRangio in this population, avoiding the risk of an invasive pressure wire and the administration of hyperemia-inducing drugs.

What is next: Future randomized trials evaluating FFRangio -guided treatment of coronary artery disease (stable or ACS) are now needed to definitively establish the role of FFRangio in the physiological assessment of coronary lesions.

Keywords: ACS; FFR; FFRangio; NSTEMI.