To study the relationship between the quantitatively assessed coronary artery dimensions and the regional coronary flow reserve as measured by digital subtraction cineangiography, we investigated 17 coronary arteries with a single discrete proximal stenosis and 12 normal coronary arteries before and after intracoronary administration of papaverine. Coronary flow reserve was found to be curvilinearly related to minimal luminal cross-sectional area (r = .92, SEE = 0.73) and to percentage area stenosis (r = .92, SEE = 0.74). Normal coronary arteries had a coronary flow reserve of 5.0 (+/- 0.8 [SD]), which differed significantly from the coronary flow reserve of the coronary arteries with obstructive disease, in which values ranging from 0.5 to 3.9 were found. Coronary arteries with a percentage area stenosis between 50% and 70% and a minimal luminal cross-sectional area between 2 and 4.5 mm2 differed significantly (p = .001), with respect to the coronary flow reserve, from coronary arteries with a percentage area stenosis in excess of 70% and a minimal luminal cross-sectional area less than 2 mm2. With the use of hemodynamic equations that describe the pressure loss over a stenosis, a theoretical pressure-flow relationship can be inferred that characterizes the severity of the stenosis. Based on this theoretical pressure-flow relationship, coronary arteries that have a limited coronary flow reserve and critical stenosis (distal coronary perfusion pressure below 40 mm Hg at coronary flow of 3 ml/sec) can be identified with high sensitivity (83%) and specificity (82%). Thus, in coronary artery disease the consequent reduction in coronary flow reserve can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by quantitative assessment of coronary artery dimensions.

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Circulation (Baltimore)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Zijlstra, F, van Ommeren, J.C.W, Reiber, J.H.C, & Serruys, P.W.J.C. (1987). Does the quantitative assessment of coronary artery dimensions predict the physiologic significance of a coronary stenosis?. Circulation (Baltimore), 75(6), 1154–1161. Retrieved from