Noninvasive FFR Study Superior to CT Angiography In Patients With Highly Calcified Coronary Disease Interview with:
Bjarne Linde Norgaard, MD PhD
Department of Cardiology,
Aarhus University Hospital Skejby
Aarhus, Denmark  

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Norgaard: Noninvasive fractional flow reserve derived from standard acquired coronary CT angiography (CTA) (FFRct) in patients with suspected coronary artery disease exhibits high and superior diagnostic performance when compared to coronary CTA alone in identifying lesion-specific ischemia (which is the established metric for decision-making on coronary revascularization). As the presence of coronary calcification may compromise the diagnostic accuracy and specificity of coronary CTA, this study was performed in order to investigate the influence of calcification on the diagnostic performance of FFRct in patients (214) and vessels (333) with suspected coronary artery disease. The main finding in this study was that FFRct provides high and superior diagnostic performance and discrimination of ischemia compared with coronary CTA interpretation alone in patients and vessels with high levels of calcification.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Norgaard: In the event of good CT image quality, which can be established in most patients by careful attention to pre-acquisition heart-rate control and use of nitroglycerin, noninvasive FFRct provides high diagnostic performance in identifying lesion-specific ischemia in patients and vessels over a wide range of coronary calcification.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Norgaard: The high diagnostic performance of FFRct in patients with coronary calcification together with future improvements in the CT and FFRct technology may potentially expand eligibility of coronary CTA testing in real-world practice (e.g. to patients at higher pre-test risk of coronary artery disease). These issues need delineation in future studies.


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Bjarne Linde Norgaard, MD PhD (2015). Noninvasive FFR Study Superior to CT Angiography In Patients With Highly Calcified Coronary Disease 

Last Updated on August 22, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD