On-site evaluation of CT-based fractional flow reserve using simple boundary conditions for computational fluid dynamics


Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is an established method for diagnosing physiological coronary artery stenosis. A method for computing FFR using coronary computed tomography (CT) images was recently developed. However, its calculation requires off-site supercomputer analysis. Here, we report the preliminary result of a method using simple estimation of boundary conditions. The lumen boundaries of the coronary arteries were semi-automatically delineated using full width at half maximum of CT number profiles. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) of the blood flow was performed using the boundary conditions of a fixed pressure at the coronary ostium and flow rates at each outlet. The total inflow at the coronary ostium was estimated based on the uniform wall shear stress hypothesis and corrected using a hyperemic multiplier to gain a hyperemic flow rate. The flow distribution from a parent vessel to the downstream daughter vessels was determined according to Murray’s law. FFR estimated by CFD was calculated as FFRCFD = Pd/Pa. We collected patients who underwent coronary CT and coronary angiography followed by invasively measured FFR and compared FFRCFD with FFR. Sensitivity, specificity, and correlations were assessed. A total of 48 patients and 72 arteries were assessed. The correlation coefficient of FFRCFD with FFR was 0.56. The cut-off value was ≤ 0.80, sensitivity was 59.1%, and specificity was 94.0%. CFD-based FFR using simple boundary conditions for on-site clinical computation provided FFRCFD values that were moderately correlated with invasively measured FFR.

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Correspondence to Naritatsu Saito.

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None of the authors have anything to declare regarding this article. This study was conducted as a part of the project focused on creation of medical arts by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (Grant Number JP17hk0102035).

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Yoshikawa, Y., Nakamoto, M., Nakamura, M. et al. On-site evaluation of CT-based fractional flow reserve using simple boundary conditions for computational fluid dynamics. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging 36, 337–346 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10554-019-01709-3

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  • Fractional flow reserve
  • Computed tomography
  • Coronary physiology
  • Computational fluid dynamics