Assessing coronary flow physiology with intracoronary Doppler following coronary interventions

Stuart T. Higano, Amir Lerman, Kirk N. Garratt, Rick A. Nishimura, David R. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although coronary angiography has been the gold standard for assessing coronary artery stenoses, it yields information primarily about the anatomical severity of coronary artery disease, which frequently does not correlate with its physiological severity. Coronary interventions (PTCA, atherectomy, laser, etc.) are performed primarily to improve coronary flow physiology. Coronary flow physiology may be a more important end point than angiography following coronary interventions that were performed to normalize coronary flow physiology. In addition, the physiological significance of angiographically intermediate stenoses should be assessed before proceeding with catheter-based revascularization. Currently, the Doppler guidewire is available for routine clinical assessment of coronary flow physiology in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Several Doppler measurements have been used to assess the physiological effect of a stenosis, including the diastolic-systolic velocity ratio, proximal-distal velocity ratio, coronary flow reserve, continuity equation, and the hyperemic diastolic pressure-flow relationship. The Doppler derived coronary flow reserve correlates highly with stress nuclear perfusion images. These Doppler measurements have been made following PTCA, directional atherectomy, rotational atherectomy, and excimer laser. Following coronary interventions, adverse clinical events may be predicted if there is impaired flow physiology or cyclic flow variations. Many of the Doppler measurements used for assessing the lesion severity remain abnormal following successful coronary interventions for reasons unrelated to the lesion. Conversely, normalization of coronary physiology does not guarantee an adequate anatomical result. Further clinical trials will provide a more complete definition of the exact role for coronary flow velocity assessment following coronary interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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