3D coronary artery model analyzes impact of blockages

HeartFlow FFR uses data from a CT scan to create a 3D model of the coronary arteries and analyze the impact that blockages have on heart flow, to determine whether a stent is necessary.  It replaces a test that uses direct measurement with an instrument inserted into the heart.

Standard practice is to push a thin wire  past a blockage in a patient’s coronary artery, using a small sensor on the tip to detect whether the build-up has significantly reduced blood flow. A study of 600,000  patients at 1,100 hospitals showed that  this invasive procedure proves unnecessary about 58 percent of the time. The wire either finds that there is no blockage present or that it is not severe enough to require a stent.

The company has published multiple studies showing that both methods produce similarly accurate results. Heartflow FFR measures blood pressure throughout the coronary arteries rather than in just one location.

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