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Review
May 24, 2017

Diagnostic Accuracy of Computed Tomography–Derived Fractional Flow Reserve A Systematic Review

Author Affiliations
  • 1Imperial College London, International Centre for Circulatory Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, London, England
JAMA Cardiol. Published online May 24, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.1314
Key Points

Question  How should clinicians interpret individual computed tomography–derived fractional flow reserve results received in clinical practice?

Findings  In this systematic review that included 908 vessels in 536 patients, the overall diagnostic accuracy of computed tomography–derived fractional flow reserve was 81.9%. However, over narrower ranges of disease severity, diagnostic accuracy of computed tomography–derived fractional flow reserve was lower in the middle ranges of the values.

Meaning  The diagnostic accuracy of computed tomography–derived fractional flow reserve is high at extremes of disease severity but is considerably weaker in the more intermediate forms of disease that form most of real-world clinical cases.

Abstract

Importance  Computed tomography–derived fractional flow reserve (FFR-CT) is a novel, noninvasive test for myocardial ischemia. Clinicians using FFR-CT must be able to interpret individual FFR-CT results to determine subsequent patient care.

Objective  To provide clinicians a means of interpreting individual FFR-CT results with respect to the range of invasive FFRs that this interpretation might likely represent.

Evidence Review  We performed a systematic review in accordance with guidelines from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. A systematic search of MEDLINE (January 1, 2011, to 2016, week 2) and EMBASE (January 1, 2011, to 2016, week 2) was performed for studies assessing the diagnostic accuracy of FFR-CT. Title words used were computed tomography or computed tomographic and fractional flow reserve or FFR. Results were limited to publications in peer-reviewed journals. Duplicate studies and abstracts from scientific meetings were removed. All of the retrieved studies, including references, were reviewed.

Findings  There were 908 vessels from 536 patients in 5 studies included in the analysis. A total of 365 (68.1%) were male, and the mean (SD) age was 63.2 (9.5) years. The overall per-vessel diagnostic accuracy of FFR-CT was 81.9% (95% CI, 79.4%-84.4%). For vessels with FFR-CT values below 0.60, 0.60 to 0.70, 0.70 to 0.80, 0.80 to 0.90, and above 0.90, diagnostic accuracy of FFR-CT was 86.4% (95% CI, 78.0%-94.0%), 74.7% (95% CI, 71.9%-77.5%), 46.1% (95% CI, 42.9%-49.3%), 87.3% (95% CI, 85.1%-89.5%), and 97.9% (95% CI, 97.9%-98.8%), respectively. The 82% (overall) diagnostic accuracy threshold was met for FFR-CT values lower than 0.63 or above 0.83. More stringent 95% and 98% diagnostic accuracy thresholds were met for FFR-CT values lower than 0.53 or above 0.93 and lower than 0.47 or above 0.99, respectively.

Conclusions and Relevance  The diagnostic accuracy of FFR-CT varies markedly across the spectrum of disease. This analysis allows clinicians to interpret the diagnostic accuracy of individual FFR-CT results. In combination with patient-specific factors, clinicians can use FFR-CT to judge when the cost and risk of an invasive angiogram may safely be avoided.

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