Fractional flow reserve (FFR) after percutaneous coronary intervention is a predictor of adverse cardiovascular events during follow-up. However, the rationale for low post procedural FFR values remains often elusive based on angiographic findings alone.

Methods and Results:
FFR SEARCH (Stent Evaluated at Rotterdam Cardiology Hospital) is a prospective single-center registry in which post-percutaneous coronary intervention FFR was assessed in 1000 consecutive all-comer patients. FFR measurements were performed with a microcatheter ±20 mm distal to the most distal stent edge. In 100 vessels with a post procedural FFR ≤0.85, and 20 vessels >0.85 high definition intravascular ultrasound analysis was performed.

In 100 vessels with a post-percutaneous coronary intervention FFR ≤0.85, mean post procedural FFR was 0.79±0.05. Minimal lumen area was 2.19 (1.81–3.19) mm2, mean lumen area was 5.95 (5.01–7.03) mm2, and minimal stent area was 4.01 (3.09–5.21) mm2. Significant residual focal proximal lesions were found in 29% of the assessed vessels whereas, focal distal lesions were found in 30% of the vessels. Stent underexpansion and malapposition were found in 74% and 22% of vessels, respectively. Clear focal signs of luminal narrowing were found in 54% of the vessels analyzed. Although incidences of focal lesions, underexpansion, and malapposition were similar between both cohorts, minimal stent area was significantly smaller in vessels with a post-percutaneous coronary intervention FFR ≤0.85 as compared with those with an FFR >0.85.

In patients with a post procedural FFR ≤0.85, intravascular ultrasound revealed focal signs of luminal narrowing in a significant number of cases

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Journal Circulation. Cardiovascular Interventions
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Van Zandvoort, L, Masdjedi, K, Witberg, K.Th, Ligthart, J.M.R, Tovar Forero, M.N, Diletti, R, … Daemen, J. (2019). Explanation of Postprocedural Fractional Flow Reserve Below 0.85 A Comprehensive Ultrasound Analysis of the FFR SEARCH Registry. Circulation. Cardiovascular Interventions, 12(2). doi:10.1161/circinterventions.118.007030