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Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Paris, France
 

Physiological basis of clinically used coronary hemodynamic indices

Author(s): Spaan JA, Piek JJ, Hoffman JI, Siebes M

Abstract

In deriving clinically used hemodynamic indices such as fractional flow reserve and coronary flow velocity reserve, simplified models of the coronary circulation are used. In particular, myocardial resistance is assumed to be independent of factors such as heart contraction and driving pressure. These simplifying assumptions are not always justified. In this review we focus on distensibility of resistance vessels, the shape of coronary pressure-flow lines, and the influence of collateral flow on these lines. We show that (1) the coronary system is intrinsically nonlinear because resistance vessels at maximal vasodilation change diameter with pressure and cardiac function; (2) the assumption of collateral flow is not needed to explain the difference between pressure-derived and flow-derived fractional flow reserve; and (3) collateral flow plays a role only at low distal pressures. We conclude that traditional hemodynamic indices are valuable for clinical decision making but that clinical studies of coronary physiology will benefit greatly from combined measurements of coronary flow or velocity and pressure.

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