News | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 21, 2015

Loyola University Medical Center First in Illinois to Implement FFR-CT

CT scans can determine blood flow through diseased coronary arteries to determine if a stent is needed

FFR-CT

An example of a FFR-CT study showing a 3-D reconstruction of the coronary tree and a color overlay of virtual FFR readings, including a severe blockage in need of revascularization in the left anterior decending artery. 

August 21, 2015 — Loyola University Medical Center is the first and only hospital in Illinois to offer a new, noninvasive technology to test for coronary artery disease.

The technology employs noninvasive CT scans to calculate how much blood is flowing through diseased coronary arteries that have narrowed due to a buildup of plaque. The patient does not need to undergo an invasive angiogram that involves threading a catheter to the heart.

The test, developed by HeartFlow Inc., has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It’s called fractional flow reserve-computed tomography (FFR-CT).

“FFRCT provides superior patient care and helps guide treatment strategies with a single, non-invasive study that is low risk and provides accurate information,” said cardiologist Mark Rabbat, M.D., FSCCT, an assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Radiology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Rabbat said FFR-CT can answer important clinical questions such as whether a patient has coronary artery disease. It can determine whether plaque in a coronary artery is restricting blood flow, thereby helping determine whether a patient would benefit from stents or bypass surgery.

More than 16 million adults in the United States have coronary artery disease. The condition occurs when a buildup of plaque narrows arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to heart muscle. Reduced blood flow to heart muscles can cause angina (chest pain) and shortness of breath. If an artery becomes completely blocked, a patient can suffer a heart attack.

Blockages that reduce blood flow by a small amount can be treated with medical therapy such as cholesterol-lowering drugs or aspirin. But if there is a major reduction in blood flow, the patient may require a stent or bypass surgery.

Until now, the standard test for measuring FFR involved an invasive angiogram and use of an FFR catheter. 

If blood flow is reduced, the blood pressure downstream from the blockage also will be reduced. If this blood pressure is less than 80 percent of the blood pressure in the aorta, a cardiologist may recommend a stent or bypass surgery.

The new FFR-CT technique is noninvasive. CT scans create a digital 3-D model of the arteries leading to the heart. Powerful computer models then simulate the blood flow within those arteries to assess whether blood flow has been restricted by any narrowings. A color-coded map helps physicians determine, vessel by vessel, if sufficient blood is flowing to the heart.

“FFR-CT is a game changer,” Rabbat said. “For the first time, we have a single comprehensive, non-invasive diagnostic test that offers both an anatomic assessment and the functional significance of coronary artery disease. We’re proud to be the first hospital in Illinois to offer this revolutionary technology to our patients.”

For more information: www.loyolamedicine.org

Related Content

SCAI and the European Society of Cardiology recently added iFR to their guidelines.

An illustration of Philip’s iFR technology, showing the iFR pressure readings and a fusion angio image indicating pressure drops in the vessel during wire pull back. SCAI and the European Society of Cardiology recently added iFR to their guidelines.

Feature | FFR Technologies | September 05, 2018 | Dave Fornell, Editor
The use of invasive, pressure wire-based fractional flow reserve (FFR) in the cath lab is now considered the gold sta
European Society of Cardiology Incorporates iFR Technology Into Updated Revascularization Guidelines
News | FFR Technologies | August 29, 2018
Philips announced that the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has incorporated instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR)...
iFR reference numbers posted for new users in the cath lab at Northwestern Medicine's Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Ill.
News | FFR Technologies | July 26, 2018
July 26, 2018 — The Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) released a focused update expert consensu
CathWorks Receives CPT Code for Non-invasive FFRangio Measurements During PCI
News | FFR Technologies | July 12, 2018
CathWorks announced the approval of a new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 0523T for non-invasive, 3-D...
The ORBITA Trial showed FFR and iFR are good predictors of PCI outcomes. This was a 2018 PCR late-breaker.
News | FFR Technologies | May 29, 2018
May 29, 2018 — The first placebo-controlled trial that looked at how fractional flow reserve (FFR) and instantaneous
FAST Study Demonstrates High Diagnostic Accuracy of CAAS vFFR
Technology | FFR Technologies | May 22, 2018
Pie Medical Imaging announced that clinical data on its CAAS vFFR (Cardiovascular Angiographic Analysis Systems for...
HeartFlow FFRct Analysis Added to ITP Payment Program in the U.K.
News | FFR Technologies | April 25, 2018
HeartFlow Inc. announced that the National Health Service (NHS) England has chosen the HeartFlow FFRct (fractional flow...
Videos | FFR Technologies | March 15, 2018
An economic analysis of the DEFINE-FLAIR study comparing FFR vs. iFR, found a cost savings of nearly $900.
iFR More Cost-Effective Than FFR in PCI Guidance
News | FFR Technologies | March 12, 2018
Philips announced health economic results from the DEFINE FLAIR clinical trial comparing cost-effectiveness between...
BlueCross BlueShield Companies in Eight States Issue Positive Medical Policies for HeartFlow FFRct Analysis
News | FFR Technologies | December 28, 2017
HeartFlow Inc. announced that Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC), which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in five...
Overlay Init