I’ve written a lot about Fractional Flow Reserve, or FFR, in the past — and the fact that it’s a simple tool that can be used during an angiogram to assess the actual obstruction to the volume of blood flow being caused by an arterial blockage. Sure you can SEE a blockage on the fluoroscopic image, but should you stent it?
The results of the by now well-known FAME study indicate that a third of the blockages between 50% and 90% (as seen on the angiogram) actually had an FFR measurement of greater than 80% (meaning that the obstruction of flow was less than 20%, even though the blockage looked more significant on the angiogram). Most importantly, treating those blockages with angioplasty and stenting resulted in worse outcomes at one year — results which have remained constant now three years later. For more information, read our exclusive interview with Dr. Nico Pijls, co-principal investigator for FAME. Continue reading