Posts Tagged ‘ffr vs oct’

Rules of the PCI game 

  • Mind the physiology. It is the new norm in selecting the lesions for stenting.
  • Now, If physiology is ok, you have to mind the Anatomy and vice versa.
  • If Anatomical (severity of block )is ok, then, you have to mind the morphology and vulnerability.
  • Finally. and most importantly mind the patient’s symptoms and clinical scenario.

So what should we do in a case of 70 % LAD with  .9 FFR ? (Still shabby looking, eccentric plaque, looks vulnerable  with a thin cap on OCT)

  1. I will stent, no doubt.
  2. I shall wait, and treat with Intensive optimal medical management (OMT).High dose statins will surely seal the cap.
  3. I will defer and watch.
  4. I will teach the patient and their family the basics of coronary hemodynamics and accept their decision.
  5. I simply leave the LAD for God to heal.

Which is correct?

All can be fair depending upon the clinical scenario.

In the ACS setting, one can’t afford to ignore these lessons.

Many would argue even in CCS setting it need to be tackled with PCI.

But isn’t also a fact, (maybe, we have been taught wrong as well ) non-flow-limiting lesions are more at risk in terms of ACS risk.

Hmm . . . then why we Insist to celebrate the concept of FFR  and its magic cut off of .75?

Do we practice coronary care at its height of confusing times ? or Am I make it appear so? 

Watch this, (https://rutherfordmedicine.com/videos )It might help you to get a better answer. Its called FORZA study. freshly delivered at TCT 2019, San Francisco.It compares FFR vs OCT guided PCI



Read Full Post »

Fractional flow reserve is  a new coronary hemo-dynamic para meter used to assess physiological impact of border line lesions in coronary artery disease. The calculation is simple

FFR is  a terrible concept * for two reasons .

One ,  it never bothers about flow * across   a lesion. It simply  relies upon  pressure drop. We  know  there  is an intricate relationship   between pressure and flow . Simple pressure drop can never be  expected to translate into incremental flow in biological systems .

(FFR anology  in co-arctation of aorta . Can you take difference between upper limb  BP and lower  limb BP as a most accurate   Index of severity of co-arctation of aorta ?  )

How crude it would be   . . .  to  believe so ?

Two   it  ignores the  morphology of the lesion . We know an eccentric soft  lesion with a  good distal   FFR  is  live  coronary explosive .

The  FAME 1 and FAME 2 studies  glorified  FFR  !  I differ in many ways .

Some of  the  observations made about FFR.

  • FFR is to be  done only in discrete ,  safe looking  , intermediate lesions .(Do not ever attempt it in a eccentric lesion )
  • FFR wire is a  stiff ( stainless steel ) wire .  Careful maneuvering is necessary . Lesion crossing  and pull back  FFR wire require some expertise.
  • FFR / OCT  combo,   increase  not only the  fluroscopy time  ,  this procedure can be  more complex than  the intended   PCI .
  • My colleagues tell me FFR measurements are not often  reproducible .(I have little experience in this )
  • Adenosine induced vasodilatation  is not natural physiological model . Further it has  a potential for  a coronary steal if there is near critical lesion in contra lateral artery.
  • There are many occasions   FFR wire has caused  dissection  and  subsequent stenting was necessary  .(The very thing  the cardiologist wanted to avoid !)
  • Bifurcation lesion FFR measurement is prone for errors
  • FFR in two tandem lesions cannot be assessed   accurately
  • Post PCI FFR is not practiced routinely in may centers  the fear of  status quo of FFR.

Final message

This post is not to defame the FFR as a concept . Just to make you think  . . .  how often ,  we  are entrapped  in a  pseudo -intellectual  game in  the cath lab ! FFR  as a tool , can still  be valuable to assess coronary hemo-dynamics in a selected lesion population especially,  discrete,  single vessel ,  or left main disease  with around 70 % narrowing . But never go with FFR alone .Consider the morphology , location   of the lesion .

Finally do not forget  ,  the   good old  EST  can  give a stiff  fight  for supremacy over FFR  in terms of assessing physiological impact of a coronary stenosis (Especially in single vessel disease ) 


Fractional Flow Reserve versus Angiography for Guiding Percutaneous Coronary Intervention . http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0807611

Read Full Post »