According to one-year data presented at the 2016 American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting (2–4 April, Chicago, USA), fractional flow reserve computed tomography (FFRCT, HeartFlow) significantly reduces the need for invasive procedures to diagnose patients suspected of having coronary artery disease and also leads to a sustained reduction in the cost of care. The results were unveiled in a presentation on the multicentre, controlled, prospective PLATFORM trial, which compared standard diagnostic strategies to a HeartFlow-guided strategy in 584 patients with stable chest pain.
Key findings of the PLATFORM (Prospective longitudinal trial of FFRCT: Outcome and resource impacts), a press release reports, are that use of a HeartFlow-guided strategy results in the cancellation of a planned invasive coronary angiogram in 60% of patients. It also showed that after one year, none of the 117 patients who had an angiogram cancelled had suffered an adverse clinical event. Further, the data showed that use of a HeartFlow-guided strategy resulted in savings to the health care system of 33% after one year, as compared to patients who received standard care.
Lead investigator Pamela Douglas (Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, USA), says: “The one-year data affirms use of the HeartFlow analysis can in many patients safely eliminate the need for invasive catheterisations, and markedly reduce cost of care in patients with suspected coronary artery disease. This represents a significant advance in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with stable chest pain, who previously may have been sent for unnecessary invasive testing to determine appropriate treatment pathways.”
The press release explains that the HeartFlow FFRCT analysis system is a web-based platform that aids clinicians in diagnosing coronary artery disease, and provides personalised, actionable information to physicians to manage each patient. FFRCT technology solves millions of complex equations simulating blood flow in the coronary arteries to provide mathematically computed fractional flow reserve values from images derived from non-invasive coronary CT angiography. FFRCT values indicate blood pressure differences around a coronary narrowing to determine whether it is likely to reduce blood flow to the heart.