The application of computational fluid dynamics to coronary computed tomography angiography allows Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) to be calculated non-invasively (FFRCT), enabling computation of FFR from coronary computed tomography angiography acquired at rest both for individual lesions as well as along the entire course of a coronary artery. FFRCT, validated in a number of accuracy studies and a large clinical utility trial, is beginning to penetrate clinical practice. Importantly, while accuracy trials compared FFRCT to invasively measured FFR at a single point in the coronary tree, clinical reports of FFRCT provide information regarding a patient's entire coronary vasculature.
Specifically, in distal coronary segments, calculated FFRCT values may be low and below 0.80 even in the absence of localized stenoses within the course of the artery. As a result, the reporting physician needs to understand how to interpret the findings in a clinically useful and thoughtful fashion.
This review provides a brief overview of the background of both invasively measured and computationally derived FFR, explains changes in FFR along the course of normal coronary arteries and those affected by coronary atherosclerosis, and outlines the relevance of measurement location when interpreting and reporting FFR and FFRCT results.
Rabbat MG, Berman DS, Kern M, Raff G, Chinnaiyan K, Koweek L, Shaw LJ, Blanke P, Scherer M, Jensen JM, Lesser J, Nørgaard BL, Pontone G, De Bruyne B, Bax JJ, Leipsic J. Interpreting results of coronary computed tomography angiography-derived fractional flow reserve in clinical practice. J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr 2017 Jun 23. pii: S1934-5925(17)30161-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jcct.2017.06.002. [Epub ahead of print] Go to PubMed