Purpose of review
The purpose of this study is to summarize cumulative evidence suggesting that the combination of fractional flow reserve (FFR), coronary flow reserve (CFR) and the index of microcirculatory resistance (IMR) might provide a more comprehensive invasive assessment of ischaemic heart disease (IHD).
Myocardial flow impairment in IHD results from both obstructive and nonobstructive causes. However, its diagnosis is primarily stenosis-centred. Although FFR provides valuable information on obstructive disease, its theoretical framework largely neglects the importance of nonobstructive concomitant involvement. Substantial evidence suggests, however, that nonobstructive IHD has important prognostic implications, and CFR and IMR are readily available tools for its concomitant diagnosis. Furthermore, CFR and IMR have independently been shown to improve IHD risk stratification. Further studies should address whether this more comprehensive IHD diagnosis, derived from the combination of FFR, CFR and IMR, may improve prognostic risk stratification and guide therapeutic strategies aiming for both obstructive and nonobstructive IHD involvement.
FFR, CFR and IMR have independently been shown to improve IHD risk stratification. Their combined use is feasible and appealing, and might lead to a more comprehensive invasive assessment of IHD.