Fractional flow reserve based on computed tomography: An overview

Francesco Secchi, Marco Alì, Elena Faggiano, Paola Maria Cannaò, Marco Fedele, Silvia Tresoldi, Giovanni Di Leo, Ferdinando Auricchio, Francesco Sardanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) is a technique proved to provide high sensitivity and negative predictive value for the identification of anatomically significant coronary artery disease (CAD) when compared with invasive X-ray coronary angiography. While the CTCA limitation of a ionizing radiation dose delivered to patients is substantially overcome by recent technical innovations, a relevant limitation remains the only anatomical assessment of coronary stenoses in the absence of evaluation of their functional haemodynamic significance. This limitation is highly important for those stenosis graded as intermediate at the anatomical assessment. Recently, non-invasive methods based on computational fluid dynamics were developed to calculate vessel-specific fractional flow reserve (FFR) using data routinely acquired by CTCA [computed tomographic fractional flow reserve (CT-FFR)]. Here we summarize methods for CT-FFR and review the evidence available in the literature up to June 26, 2016, including 16 original articles and one meta-analysis. The perspective of CT-FFR may greatly impact on CAD diagnosis, prognostic evaluation, and treatment decision-making. The aim of this review is to describe technical characteristics and clinical applications of CT-FFR, also in comparison with catheter-based invasive FFR, in order to make a cost-benefit balance in terms of clinical management and patient's health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E49-E56
JournalEuropean Heart Journal, Supplement
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 2016


  • Computed tomography
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Fractional flow reserve
  • Transluminal attenuation gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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