OBJECTIVES: This study compared the performance of the quantitative flow ratio (QFR) with single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) for the diagnosis of fractional flow reserve (FFR)-defined coronary artery disease (CAD).
BACKGROUND: QFR estimates FFR solely based on cine contrast images acquired during invasive coronary angiography (ICA). Head-to-head studies comparing QFR with noninvasive MPI are lacking.
METHODS: A total of 208 (624 vessels) patients underwent technetium-99m tetrofosmin SPECT and [15O]H2O PET imaging before ICA in conjunction with FFR measurements. ICA was obtained without using a dedicated QFR acquisition protocol, and QFR computation was attempted in all vessels interrogated by FFR (552 vessels).
RESULTS: QFR computation succeeded in 286 (52%) vessels. QFR correlated well with invasive FFR overall (R = 0.79; p < 0.001) and in the subset of vessels with an intermediate (30% to 90%) diameter stenosis (R = 0.76; p < 0.001). Overall, per-vessel analysis demonstrated QFR to exhibit a superior sensitivity (70%) in comparison with SPECT (29%; p < 0.001), whereas it was similar to PET (75%; p = 1.000). Specificity of QFR (93%) was higher than PET (79%; p < 0.001) and not different from SPECT (96%; p = 1.000). As such, the accuracy of QFR (88%) was superior to both SPECT (82%; p = 0.010) and PET (78%; p = 0.004). Lastly, the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve of QFR, in the overall sample (0.94) and among vessels with an intermediate lesion (0.90) was higher than SPECT (0.63 and 0.61; p < 0.001 for both) and PET (0.82; p < 0.001 and 0.77; p = 0.002), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: In this head-to-head comparative study, QFR exhibited a higher diagnostic value for detecting FFR-defined significant CAD compared with perfusion imaging by SPECT or PET.