Diagnostic and prognostic implications of coronary flow capacity: A comprehensive cross-modality physiological concept in ischemic heart disease
JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions , Volume 8 - Issue 13 p. 1670- 1680
Objectives The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether coronary flow capacity (CFC) improves discrimination of patients at risk for major adverse cardiac events (MACE) compared with coronary flow reserve (CFR) alone, and to study the diagnostic and prognostic implications of CFC in relation to contemporary diagnostic tests for ischemic heart disease (IHD), including fractional flow reserve (FFR). Background Although IHD results from a combination of focal obstructive, diffuse, and microcirculatory involvement of the coronary circulation, its diagnosis remains focused on focal obstructive causes. CFC comprehensively documents flow impairment in IHD, regardless of its origin, by interpreting CFR in relation to maximal flow (hyperemic average peak flow velocity [hAPV]), and overcomes the limitations of using CFR alone. This is governed by the understanding that ischemia occurs in vascular beds with substantially reduced hAPV and CFR, whereas ischemia is unlikely when hAPV or CFR is high. Methods Intracoronary pressure and flow were measured in 299 vessels (228 patients), where revascularization was deferred in 154. Vessels were stratified as having normal, mildly reduced, moderately reduced, or severely reduced CFC using CFR thresholds derived from published data and corresponding hAPV percentiles. The occurrence of MACE after deferral of revascularization was recorded during 11.9 years of follow-up (quartile 1: 10.0 years, quartile 3: 13.4 years). Results Combining CFR and hAPV improved the prediction of MACE over CFR alone (p = 0.01). After stratification in CFC, MACE rates throughout follow-up were strongly associated with advancing impairment of CFC (p = 0.002). After multivariate adjustment, mildly and moderately reduced CFC were associated with a 2.1-fold (95% confidence interval: 1.1 to 4.0; p = 0.017), and 7.1-fold (95% confidence interval: 2.9 to 17.1; p < 0.001) increase in MACE hazard, respectively, compared with normal CFC. Severely reduced CFC was identified by FFR ≤0.80 in 90% of cases, although ≥40% of vessels with normal or mildly reduced CFC still had an FFR ≤0.80. Conclusions CFC provides a cross-modality platform for the diagnosis and risk-stratification of IHD and enriches the interpretation of contemporary diagnostic tests in IHD.