Correlation between frequency-domain optical coherence tomography and fractional flow reserve in angiographically-intermediate coronary lesions

Francesco Burzotta, Roberto Nerla, Jonathan Hill, Lazzaro Paraggio, Antonio Maria Leone, Jonathan Byrne, Italo Porto, Giampaolo Niccoli, Cristina Aurigemma, Carlo Trani, Philip MacCarthy, Filippo Crea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The decision-making process of patients with angiographically-intermediate coronary lesions (ICL) is clinically challenging and may benefit from adjunctive invasive techniques. Fractional-flow-reserve (FFR) represents the gold standard to evaluate ICL but frequency-domain optical-coherence-tomography (OCT) is a novel, promising, high resolution coronary imaging technique, which allows physiopathologic assessment of coronary plaque. We investigated the possible relation between OCT and FFR in selected ICL patients.

METHODS: Stable or unstable patients with ICL who underwent both FFR and OCT assessment at two large tertiary centers were retrospectively enrolled. FFR was performed according to standard methodology. OCT images were (on blind to clinical and FFR results) analyzed to assess minimal lumen area (MLA), percentage area stenosis (AS), thrombus and plaque ulceration.

RESULTS: Forty patients were identified (62±10years, 93% symptomatic, 35% acute presentation, 93% left-anterior-descending artery ICL). Percentage diameter stenosis at quantitative coronary angiography was 40±12% and FFR was 0.85±0.07. MLA (p=0.009), AS (p<0.001) and plaque ulceration (p=0.02) were significantly associated with FFR values. An integrated assessment of AS (≥ or <70%), MLA (≥ or <2.5mm2) and presence or absence of thrombus and plaque ulceration was found to have the potential to accurately (sensitivity 91%, specificity 93%) predict FFR results.

CONCLUSION: In patients with ICL, a combination of different OCT parameters may help predict FFR results. These findings suggest that only a comprehensive assessment of lesion features by OCT can allow an accurate prediction of lesion severity assessed by FFR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2018


  • Aged
  • Coronary Angiography/methods
  • Coronary Stenosis/diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Fractional Flow Reserve, Myocardial/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence/methods


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