NEW ORLEANS – Fractional flow reserve derived noninvasively from coronary CT angiography showed clinical merit as a practical tool for evaluation of chest pain at 1 year of follow-up in the ADVANCE registry, Manesh R. Patel, MD, reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
In ADVANCE, a fractional flow reserve value greater than 0.80 derived from CT angiography, or FFRCT, was associated with a significantly lower rate of cardiovascular death or MI at 1 year than in patients with an FFRCT of 0.80 or lower, according to Dr. Patel, professor of medicine and chief of the division of cardiology at Duke University, Durham, N.C.
“The lower rates of revascularization and clinical events in patients with FFRCT who were managed conservatively provide reassurance regarding this clinical strategy if you were to put it into your practice,” he observed.
ADVANCE is in an international, real-world, prospective registry of more than 5,000 patients in Europe, Japan, and North America. All had clinically suspected ischemic coronary artery disease (CAD). They also had at least 30% atherosclerosis documented on coronary CT angiography as a trigger for noninvasive assessment of FFR calculated from computational fluid dynamics. The idea behind FFRCT is that by combining the anatomic information provided by CT angiography with the physiological, functional data from FFR, the result is a better guide to need for revascularization of true obstructive CAD than with conventional invasive coronary angiography alone. Indeed, FFRCT could eventually prove to be a cost-effective gatekeeper to the cardiac catheterization laboratory by cutting down on high rates of invasive coronary angiography for nonactionable CAD.
That point was suggested by the previously reported 90-day outcomes of the ADVANCE registry, the cardiologist explained. Participating physicians first classified patients and made a revascularization/no-revascularization management plan on the basis of the core laboratory CT angiography results alone. But when they received the FFRCT results, they reclassified patients and changed the management plan in 67% of cases. That’s because the prevalence of nonobstructive CAD was 44% in patients with an FFRCT greater than 0.80 in all coronary arteries, compared with just 14% in those with an FFRCT of 0.80 or less. As a result, 72% of patients with an FFRCT of 0.80 or less underwent revascularization, while the vast majority of patients with an FFRCT greater than 0.80 were initially managed conservatively (Eur Heart J. 2018 Nov 1;39:3701-11).
The 1-year outcomes from ADVANCE as presented by Dr. Patel showed low rates of major adverse cardiovascular events overall. Of note, the composite endpoint of cardiovascular death or MI occurred significantly more often in patients with an FFRCT of 0.80 or less, by a margin of 0.8% versus 0.2%, for a 320% increased relative risk. The patients with a FFRCT greater than 0.80 continued to have a much lower revascularization rate from 90 days through 1 year: 5.8% versus 38.4% in the lower-FFRCT group. And 93% of patients placed on medical therapy alone after receiving their FFRCT results remained on medical therapy without revascularization or a major adverse cardiovascular event at 1 year.
Discussant Matthew J. Budoff, MD, commented that it’s time to move beyond observational studies and conduct randomized trials of an FFRCT-based screening strategy in patients with clinical suspicion of obstructive CAD.
“We want to understand the enormous advantages of having FFR-like data before we take patients to the cath lab. And I do think that adding physiology to the anatomy is going to be the approach that we’re going to be predominantly using in the future,” said Dr. Budoff, professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Patel noted that the ongoing, randomized, 2,100-patient PRECISE study is directed at determining in a more definitive way the clinical and cost-effectiveness of an FFRCT strategy.
The ADVANCE registry is funded by HeartFlow. Dr. Patel reported receiving research grants from that company and several others, as well as the National Institutes of Health. He serves on advisory boards for Bayer, Janssen, and Amgen.
Simultaneous with Dr. Patel’s presentation at ACC 2019, the 1-year ADVANCE registry results were published online (JACC Cardiovasc Imag. 2019 Mar 17. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2019.03.003).