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Trends in the Cath Lab: FFR Emerging as Stenting Gatekeeper

Executive Summary

Clinical advancements in the cardiac catheterization lab most often occur in fits and starts, rarely in smooth progressions. Momentous developments like the percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty catheter, the bare metal stent, and then the drug-eluting stent shook both the profession and the industry. More recently, measurement of fractional flow reserve, a unique tool that assesses the severity of a coronary artery blockage by comparing blood flow at the distal and proximal ends of the lesion, is being utilized in greater numbers by interventional cardiologists as a combined refinement and development that shows great promise for both improving patient outcomes and lowering cost, all with few known negative consequences. FFR is a unique tool that assesses the severity of a coronary artery blockage by comparing blood flow at the distal and proximal ends of the lesion.
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