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Fractional Flow Reserve

Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is a diagnostic test that measures the blood flow in a diseased artery.

This blockage or narrowing, called stenosis, reduces the amount of blood that can flow through your vessels. Reduced blood flow can lead to a heart attack or arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).

In most cases, the seriousness of the stenosis is evaluated with a diagnostic test called cardiac angiography. During angiography, evaluates the appearance of your arteries and then decide what procedure is best for you.

But angiography is not always enough for a diagnosis. FFR is another way to evaluate the seriousness of coronary stenosis.

Who is eligible for a fractional flow reserve?

FFR measurement is used to:

  • Find any coronary artery disease (CAD).

  • Measure the coronary artery blockage or stenosis.

  • Evaluate if the surgery you've had was successful.

  • Identify the location of coronary blockage when the angiographic image is unclear.

What conditions can be diagnosed by a fractional flow reserve?

Common clinical issues that may lead to an FFR test include:

  • Coronary artery disease.

  • Atherosclerosis of the left main coronary artery.

  • Any cardiovascular disease that is not well detected by angiography.

  • Tandem lesions (where there is stenosis or blockage in the neck arteries and brain arteries on the same side of the body).

How do I prepare for a fractional flow reserve?

FFR is performed during cardiac catheterization. Cardiac catheterization is usually performed in the cardiac catheterization lab.

What should I expect during my fractional flow reserve?

  • You will lie down on the lab table.

  • Typically, you will be sedated but not unconscious.

  • FFR uses a small sensor on the tip of the wire (a transducer) to measure pressure, temperature, and flow in the artery to determine the seriousness of the stenosis.

  • Your doctor will cross the coronary stenosis with the FFR-specific guidewire.

  • Once the transducer is situated, a stimulus is administered by injection through the catheter. The pressure measured from the wire transducer and the catheter is used to calculate FFR. An FFR lower than 0.75-0.80 is considered diseased due to the build-up of fatty substances (plaque).

Why choose Presbyterian for fractional flow reserve?

Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care has a skilled electrophysiology team who can provide a wide range of cardiac rhythm treatments. Their electrophysiology cardiologists are trained in many different techniques and procedures, many of which can provide you with a shorter recovery period and the opportunity to recover at home.