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Clinical research

Hybrid iFR-FFR decision-making strategy: implications for enhancing universal adoption of physiology-guided coronary revascularisation

Aims: Adoption of fractional flow reserve (FFR) remains low (6-8%), partly because of the time, cost and potential inconvenience associated with vasodilator administration. The instantaneous wave-Free Ratio (iFR) is a pressure-only index of stenosis severity calculated without vasodilator drugs. Before outcome trials test iFR as a sole guide to revascularisation, we evaluate the merits of a hybrid iFR-FFR decision-making strategy for universal physiological assessment.

Methods and results: Coronary pressure traces from 577 stenoses were analysed. iFR was calculated as the ratio between Pd and Pa in the resting diastolic wave-free window. A hybrid iFR-FFR strategy was evaluated, by allowing iFR to defer some stenoses (where negative predictive value is high) and treat others (where positive predictive value is high), with adenosine being given only to patients with iFR in between those values. For the most recent fixed FFR cut-off (0.8), an iFR of <0.86 could be used to confirm treatment (PPV of 92%), whilst an iFR value of >0.93 could be used to defer revascularisation (NPV of 91%). Limiting vasodilator drugs to cases with iFR values between 0.86 to 0.93 would obviate the need for vasodilator drugs in 57% of patients, whilst maintaining 95% agreement with an FFR-only strategy. If the 0.75-0.8 FFR grey zone is accounted for, vasodilator drug requirement would decrease by 76%.

Conclusion: A hybrid iFR-FFR decision-making strategy for revascularisation could increase adoption of physiology-guided PCI, by more than halving the need for vasodilator administration, whilst maintaining high classification agreement with an FFR-only strategy.

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