Introduction The ischaemic consequences of a coronary artery stenosis can be assessed by invasive fractional flow reserve (FFR) or by non-invasive imaging. We sought to determine (i) the concordance between wall thickening assessment and FFR during clinically indicated stress echocardiography (SE) and FFR measurements and (ii) the predictors of hard events in these patients.
Methods and Results 194 patients who underwent SE and invasive FFR measurements in close succession were analysed for diagnostic concordance and clinical outcomes. At the vessel level, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of SE for identifying significant disease as assessed by FFR was 70%, 78%, 46% and 91% respectively. In patients with single vessel disease, the sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV were 86%, 66%, 38% and 95% respectively. The greatest discordance was seen in patients with wall thickening abnormalities (WTA) and negative FFR. During a follow up of 3.0±1.9 years there were 15 cardiovascular (CV) events. The number of wall segments with inducible WTAs emerged as the only independent predictor of CV events (HR 1.22 (1.05–1.43), p=0.01). FFR was not a predictor of outcome. There was a significant increase in event rate in patients with WTA/negative FFR and WTA/positive FFR, compared to patients with no WTA (p=0.04). However, no significant difference was seen between patients with WTA/negative FFR versus WTA/positive FFR (p=0.38)
Conclusion In a patient population with significant CV risk factors, a normal SE effectively ruled out abnormal FFR. The greatest discordance was seen in patients with abnormal SE/normal FFR. In this group, patients had similar outcomes compared to those with abnormal SE/positive FFR but worse outcomes compared to patients with a normal SE. These findings have significant clinical implications.
- Stress Echocardiography
- Fractional Flow Reserve
- Coronary Flow Reserve
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