FFR by wire may soon be obsolete



SAN DIEGO– Angiograms can be deceiving, so it’s best to measure fractional flow reserve (FFR) across coronary obstructions to gauge patients’ true need for intervention. That’s hardly news to cardiologists, but FFR is not often done. The problem is that traditional measurement requires threading wires down coronary arteries; the technique is a bit risky and takes time and training. It also has to be repeated for each lesion.

But now, several companies are developing noninvasive ways to measure FFR.

Findings from one of them, CathWorks, were presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics annual meeting sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation. Its FFRangio system uses high-quality angiograms and an algorithm to estimate resistance and flow across stenoses. After a few cases, the process takes less than 5 minutes (Circulation. 2018 Sep 24. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.037350).

“I think this is a big breakthrough. ... Ultimately, it should lead to better patient outcomes,” said lead investigator William Fearon, MD, professor of cardiology at Stanford University, Calif.

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