Predictive value of the QFR in detecting vulnerable plaques in non-flow limiting lesions: a combined analysis of the PROSPECT and IBIS-4 study

Hannah Safi, Christos V. Bourantas, Anantharaman Ramasamy, Thomas Zanchin, Sarah Bär, Vincenzo Tufaro, Chongying Jin, Ryo Torii, Alexios Karagiannis, Johan H.C. Reiber, Anthony Mathur, Yoshinubo Onuma, Stephan Windecker, Alexandra Lansky, Akiko Maehara, Patrick W. Serruys, Peter Stone, Andreas Baumbach, Gregg W. Stone, Lorenz Räber

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8 Scopus citations


Studies have shown that the quantitative flow ratio (QFR), recently introduced to assess lesion severity from coronary angiography, provides useful prognostic information; however the additive value of this technique over intravascular imaging in detecting lesions that are likely to cause events is yet unclear. We analysed data acquired in the PROSPECT and IBIS-4 studies, in particular the baseline virtual histology-intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS) and angiographic data from 17 non-culprit lesions with a presumable vulnerable phenotype (i.e., thin or thick cap fibroatheroma) that caused major adverse cardiac events or required revascularization (MACE) at 5-year follow-up and from a group of 78 vulnerable plaques that remained quiescent. The segments studied by VH-IVUS were identified in coronary angiography and the QFR was estimated. The additive value of 3-dimensional quantitative coronary angiography (3D-QCA) and of the QFR in predicting MACE at 5 year follow-up beyond plaque characteristics was examined. It was found that MACE lesions had a greater plaque burden (PB) and smaller minimum lumen area (MLA) on VH-IVUS, a longer length and a smaller minimum lumen diameter (MLD) on 3D-QCA and a lower QFR compared with lesions that remained quiescent. By univariate analysis MLA, PB, MLD, lesion length on 3D-QCA and QFR were predictors of MACE. In multivariate analysis a low but normal QFR (> 0.80 to < 0.97) was the only independent prediction of MACE (HR 3.53, 95% CI 1.16–10.75; P = 0.027). In non-flow limiting lesions with a vulnerable phenotype, QFR may provide additional prognostic information beyond plaque morphology for predicting MACE throughout 5 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1002
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • QFR
  • Quantitative coronary angiography
  • Vulnerable plaque


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