The impact of downstream coronary stenoses on fractional flow reserve assessment of intermediate left main disease

David V. Daniels, Marcel Van'T Veer, Nico H J Pijls, Arjen Van Der Horst, Andy S. Yong, Bernard De Bruyne, William F. Fearon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the validity of measuring fractional flow reserve (FFR) of the left main (LM) coronary artery in the setting of concomitant left anterior descending (LAD) or left circumflex (LCX) stenoses. Background: The theoretical impact of a stenosis in the LAD on the FFR assessment of intermediate LM disease with the pressure wire in an unobstructed LCX is currently unknown. Methods: A previously validated in vitro model of the coronary circulation was used to create a fixed intermediate stenosis of the LM and a variable downstream LAD or LCX stenosis. The true LM FFR (FFR LM true), with no concomitant downstream disease, was compared to the apparent LM FFR (FFRLM apparent), with concomitant downstream disease measured with different degrees of LAD or LCX disease. Additionally, an equation based on a resistors model was derived to predict the effect of downstream stenosis on LM FFR (FFRLM predicted). Results: In the setting of isolated moderate LM disease (FFR 0.72 ± 0.08), mild to moderate proximal LAD or LCX lesions did not significantly affect LM FFR. Lesions with a composite FFR (LM + downstream disease) <0.65 resulted in an FFRLM apparent that was not significantly different from FFR LM true (0.76 ± 0.06 vs. 0.76 ± 0.05, p = 0.124). Our equation for FFRLM predicted accurately modeled the effects of concomitant disease (r = 0.95, p < 0.001). Conclusions: These data suggest that in the presence of proximal mild to moderate LAD or LCX disease, LM FFR can be reliably measured with the pressure wire placed in the uninvolved epicardial artery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1025
Number of pages5
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • coronary artery disease
  • fractional flow reserve
  • left main coronary artery


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