Physiological Assessment of Coronary Lesions in 2020

  • Mohsin Chowdhury
  • Eric A. OsbornEmail author
Coronary Artery Disease (D Feldman and V Voudris, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Coronary Artery Disease


Purpose of review

Physiological assessment of coronary artery disease (CAD) is an essential component of the interventional cardiology toolbox. However, despite long-term data demonstrating improved outcomes, physiology-guided percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) remains underutilized in current practice. This review outlines the indications and technical aspects involved in evaluating coronary stenosis physiology, focusing on the latest developments in the field.

Recent findings

Beyond fractional flow reserve (FFR), non-hyperemic pressure ratios (NHPR) that assess coronary physiology at rest without hyperemia now abound. Additional advances in other alternative FFR approaches, including non-invasive coronary CT (FFRCT), invasive angiography (FFRangio), and optical coherence tomography (FFROCT), are being realized. Artificial intelligence algorithms and robust tools that enable detailed pre-procedure “virtual” intervention are also emerging.


The benefits of coronary physiological assessment to determine lesion functional significance are well established. In addition to stable CAD, coronary physiology can be especially helpful in clinical scenarios such as left main and multivessel CAD, serial lesions, non-infarct-related arteries in acute coronary syndromes, and residual ischemia post-PCI. Today, coronary physiological assessment remains an indispensable tool in the catheterization laboratory, with an exciting technological future that will further refine clinical practice and improve patient care.


Coronary artery disease Physiology Angiography Fractional flow reserve Instantaneous wave-free ratio Hyperemia 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Eric A. Osborn reports personal fees from Abbott Vascular and Dyad Medical, outside the submitted work.

Mohsin Chowdhury declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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