Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is a measurement tool used in cardiac catheterization to analyze the blood pressure and flow inside a partially blocked artery. Using a specialized pressure wire, your doctor will calculate the ratio between the maximum blood flow in a diseased coronary artery and the theoretical maximum flow in a normal coronary artery. This information allows the cardiologist to determine if the blockage can be carefully monitored over time or if immediate treatment is required.
An FFR is calculated during a routine coronary angiography. During the procedure, your doctor will numb the point-of-entry of the guidewire with a local anesthetic. This is typically located on the arm or the groin. Using a live X-ray, the guidewire is then threaded through the arterial system, with the pressure sensor attached, until it reaches the heart artery. After the measurements are taken, the guidewire and pressure sensor are removed.
If you are experiencing chest discomfort, talk to one of our providers about the minimally invasive cardiac surgery options available through Baptist Health.