Aims: The need of adenosine administration for the achievement of maximal hyperaemia limits the widespread application of fractional flow reserve (FFR) in the real world. We hypothesised that Pd/Pa ratio registered during submaximal reactive hyperaemia induced by conventional non-ionic radiographic contrast medium (contrast medium induced Pd/Pa ratio: CMR) can be sufficient for the assessment of physiological severity of stenosis in the vast majority of cases. The aim of the present study was to test the accuracy of CMR in comparison to FFR. Methods and results: Eighty patients with 104 intermediate coronary stenoses were prospectively and consecutively enrolled. CMR was obtained after intracoronary injection of 6 ml of radiographic contrast medium, while FFR was measured after administration of adenosine. Despite the fact that CMR values were significantly higher than FFR values (0.88 [IR 0.80-0.92] vs. 0.87 [IR 0.83-0.94], p<0.001), a strong correlation between CMR and FFR values was observed (r=0.94, p<0.001) with a close agreement at Bland-Altman analysis (95% CI of disagreement: -0.029 to 0.072). ROC curve analysis showed an excellent accuracy of CMR cut-off of ≤0.83 in predicting FFR value ≤0.80 (AUC 0.97 [95% CI: 0.91-0.99, specificity 96.1, sensitivity 85.7]). Moreover, no FFR value ≤0.80 corresponded to a CMR ≥0.88. Conclusions: CMR is accurate in predicting the functional significance of coronary stenosis. This could allow limiting the use of adenosine to obtain FFR to doubtful cases. In particular, we suggest considering a CMR value ≤0.83 to be significant, a CMR value ≥0.88 as not significant, and inducing maximal hyperaemia using adenosine for FFR assessment when CMR is between 0.84 and 0.87.
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