European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 958–967 | Cite as

Coronary pressure-derived fractional flow reserve in the assessment of coronary artery stenoses

  • Nikolaos Kakouros
  • Frank J. Rybicki
  • Dimitrios Mitsouras
  • Julie M. Miller
Computed Tomography



Catheter-based angiography is the reference-standard to establish coronary anatomy. While routinely employed clinically, lumen assessment correlates poorly with physiological measures of ischaemia. Moreover, functional studies to identify and localise ischaemia before elective angiography are often not available. This article reviews fractional flow reserve (FFR) and its role in guiding patient management for patients with a potentially haemodynamic significant coronary lesion.


This review discusses the theory, evidence, indications, and limitations of FFR. Also included are emerging non-invasive imaging FFR surrogates currently under evaluation for accuracy with respect to standard FFR.


Coronary pressure-derived fractional flow reserve (FFR) rapidly assesses the haemodynamic significance of individual coronary artery lesions and can readily be performed in the catheterisation laboratory. The use of FFR has been shown to effectively guide coronary revascularization procedures leading to improved patient outcomes.


FFR is an invaluable modality in guiding coronary disease treatment decisions. It is safe, cost-effective and leads to improved patient outcomes. Non-invasive imaging modalities to assess the physiologic significance of CAD are currently being  developed and evaluated.

Key points

Coronary pressure-derived fractional flow reserve (FFR) is an important adjunct to angiography.

FFR is an invaluable technique in guiding coronary disease treatment decisions.

FFR is safe, cost-effective and leads to improved patient outcomes.

New directions include CT-based non-invasive conventional FFR surrogates for functional lesion significance.


Fractional flow reserve Coronary artery disease Cardiac CT Percutaneous coronary intervention Physiology 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaos Kakouros
    • 1
  • Frank J. Rybicki
    • 2
  • Dimitrios Mitsouras
    • 2
  • Julie M. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of CardiologyJohns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Applied Imaging Science LaboratoryBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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