LAS VEGAS – Interventional cardiologists who used fractional flow reserve to assess coronary lesions with an uncertain hemodynamic impact by angiography alone changed their initial therapeutic decision based on angiography for 35% of patients, and for 30% of all lesions examined in a real-world registry with more than 2,200 patients enrolled at 70 worldwide centers.
“Use of fractional flow reserve in contemporary, real-world, global clinical practice changed treatment plans for more than one-third of all comers,” including both patients with stable coronary artery disease and those with acute coronary syndrome,, said at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions annual scientific sessions.
The impact of fractional flow reserve (FFR) was greatest when operators used it to assess nonculprit lesions among the 31% of the 2,217 total patients enrolled who presented with acute coronary syndrome. In this subgroup, FFR changed the treatment plan for nonculprit lesions that had been based on angiography and clinical status for 36% of these lesions. The changes included an increase in lesions identified to receive medical management, rising from 53% of the nonculprit lesions before FFR to 65% after, while treatment with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) fell from 37% of nonculprit lesions before FFR to 28% after, with the remaining lesions designated for coronary artery bypass grafting. Among patients with stable coronary disease the angiography-based treatment decision changed for 28% of nonculprit lesions after FFR.
“These results may provide support to increase use of FFR,” said Dr. Schampaert, an interventional cardiologist and head of cardiology at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur in Montreal. The analysis “was an attempt to see the current impact of FFR at places where its use is established,” when it’s routinely used to assess the need to treat nonculprit lesions with an uncertain impact on blood flow through a coronary artery. Dr. Schampaert estimated that about one-quarter of patients who present for angiography have nonculprit lesions that leave operators uncertain about their hemodynamic significance after angiography and are candidates for FFR assessment.
The findings “are a call to do more FFR,” agreed M. Chadi Alraies, MD, an interventional cardiologist at the Detroit Medical Center Heart Hospital. “We are underusing FFR and overstenting people, and that worsens outcomes. We don’t do enough FFR,” Dr. Alraies commented.