NICE recommends HeartFlow FFRct Analysis to aid the determination of stable chest pain cause

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The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance today for use of the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis to help determine the cause of stable chest pain in patients. Developed by HeartFlow, the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis is the first non-invasive technology to provide insight into both the extent of coronary artery disease and the impact that disease has on blood flow to the heart.

NICE has recommended the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis for patients with stable recent onset chest pain. Based on the evidence, it concluded the technology is safe, has a high level of diagnostic accuracy and may avoid the need for invasive coronary angiography, according to a press release. The committee further concluded that, when compared to all other tests, use of the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis could save the NHS approximately £214 per patient (equating to £9.1million/year in NHS England alone) through avoiding unnecessary invasive tests and treatment.

This guidance follows chest pain guidelines issued by NICE in November 2016, recommending non-invasive coronary computed tomography angiography (cCTA) as the initial diagnostic test for patients with stable chest pain. NICE now recommends the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis as the most cost effective option when additional information is needed by the clinician.

HeartFlow’s process starts with data from a standard, non-invasive cCTA. Leveraging deep learning, an advanced form of artificial intelligence, HeartFlow creates a personalised, 3D model of each patient’s arteries. Powerful computer algorithms then solve millions of complex equations to simulate blood flow and assess the impact of blockages in the arteries. With this actionable information, physicians can determine the right course of action for each patient.

“The HeartFlow FFRct Analysis provides a definitive understanding of both the anatomical and functional findings, without any additional testing or risk for patients,” says Joseph Mills, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Liverpool, UK. “Application of the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis is likely to transform the quality of care we can provide for patients, ensuring the most accurate diagnosis and the best treatment plan, as well reducing the need for invasive coronary angiography – a procedure not without its risks.”