Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is considered to be the criterion standard for the clinical diagnosis of functional myocardial ischemia. In this study, we explored the effect of the coronary arterial diameter derived from coronary computed tomography angiography on FFR.
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical information of 131 patients with moderate coronary artery stenosis. To compare the mean diameter of stenotic vessels, patients were divided into ischemic and nonischemic groups. According to the clinical statistics of the diameter of the ischemic group and the nonischemic group, we established 8 ideal models of coronary artery diameter of 4 mm (40%, 50%, 60%, and 70% stenosis) and diameter of 3 mm (40%, 50%, 60%, and 70% stenosis). Two sets of numerical simulation experiments were carried out: experiment 1 evaluated the variation rate of CT-based computation of non-invasive fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) with vessel diameters of 4 mm and 3 mm under different stenosis rates, and experiment 2 explored the variation of FFRCT with vessel diameters of 4 mm and 3 mm under different cardiac outputs. We simulated changes in the flow of narrow blood vessels by changes in cardiac output.
According to clinical statistics, the mean ± SD diameter of stenotic vessels in the ischemic and nonischemic groups was 3.67 ± 0.77 mm and 3.31 ± 0.64 mm (P < 0.05 for difference), respectively. In experiment 1, the FFRCT of coronary with a diameter of 4 mm was 0.86, 0.80, 0.66, and 0.35, and that with a diameter of 3 mm was 0.90, 0.84, 0.71, and 0.50, respectively. In experiment 2, the FFRCT of the coronary vessel diameter of 4 mm was 0.84, 0.80, 0.76, and 0.72, respectively. The FFRCT coronary vessels with a diameter of 3 mm were 0.87, 0.84, 0.80, and 0.76, respectively.
As the stenosis increases, compared with narrow blood vessel of small diameter, the narrow blood vessel with larger diameter is accompanied by faster flow rate changes and is more prone to ischemia.