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BACKGROUND: FFR is routinely used to guide percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Visual assessment of the angiographic result after PCI has limited efficacy. Even when the angiographic result seems satisfactory FFR after a PCI might be useful for identifying patients with a suboptimal interventional result and higher risk for poor clinical outcome who might benefit from additional procedures. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate available data of studies that examined clinical outcomes of patients with impaired vs. satisfactory fractional flow reserve (FFR) after percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). METHODS: This meta-analysis was carried out according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews. The Mantel-Haenszel method using the fixed-effect meta-analysis model was used for combining the results. Studies were identified by searching the literature through mid-January, 2016, using the following search terms: fractional flow reserve, coronary circulation, after, percutaneous coronary intervention, balloon angioplasty, stent implantation, and stenting. Primary endpoint was the rate of major adverse cardiac events (MACE). Secondary endpoints included rates of death, myocardial infarction (MI), repeated revascularisation. RESULTS: Eight relevant studies were found including a total of 1337 patients. Of those, 492 (36.8 %) had an impaired FFR after PCI, and 853 (63.2 %) had a satisfactory FFR after PCI. Odds ratios indicated that a low FFR following PCI was associated with an impaired outcome: major adverse cardiac events (MACE, OR: 4.95, 95 % confidence interval [CI]: 3.39-7.22, p <0.001); death (OR: 3.23, 95 % CI: 1.19-8.76, p = 0.022); myocardial infarction (OR: 13.83, 95 % CI: 4.75-40.24, p <0.0001) and repeated revascularisation (OR: 4.42, 95 % CI: 2.73-7.15, p <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Compared to a satisfactory FFR, a persistently low FFR following PCI is associated with a worse clinical outcome. Prospective studies are needed to identify underlying causes, determine an optimal threshold for post-PCI FFR, and clarify whether simple additional procedures can influence the post-PCI FFR and clinical outcome.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC Cardiovasc Disord

Publication Date





Coronary artery disease, Fractional flow reserve, Intracoronary imaging, Meta-analysis, Outcome, Percutaneous coronary interventions, Coronary Angiography, Coronary Artery Disease, Fractional Flow Reserve, Myocardial, Humans, Myocardial Infarction, Odds Ratio, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Predictive Value of Tests, Retreatment, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Treatment Outcome