Student working on a research project.

Validation Of A Computed Tomography (CT) Based Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR)

Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) contrast opacification gradients and FFR-CT estimation can aid in the severity estimation of significant atherosclerotic lesions. Following this trend, we recently developed a collaboration between Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Gates Vascular Institute (GVI). We 3D-printed patient specific coronary phantoms at (GVI) and scanned them with a Toshiba Aquilion scanner to test several aspects of the contrast opacification gradients using a method established at BWH. Our initial results showed strong correlation between the flow in the phantom and opacification gradients. We believe that this approach could be further developed to test and validate FFR-CT algorithms. Currently, FFR-CT algorithms can only be optimized using theoretical models and can only be validated in large multi-center clinical trials. This phantom approach would allow optimization of FFR-CT algorithms with a measured validation technique without the need for large clinical trials. Thus we believe that this study will result in a FFR-CT algorithm/method with a better predictability for arterial lesion severity than those existing on the market today. Our approach is to use the infrastructure at GVI to perform a detailed validation of the FFR-CT method using 3D printed patient specific phantoms. The subject enrollment criteria is: at least one CCTA, at least one lesion with >50% stenosis or 30-50% and an angio based FFR. Each patient will have a 3D phantom printed, containing the culprit lesion and used in a benchtop flow analysis. Flow measurements will be compared with: CT-FFR for both patients and phantoms, angio lab FFR measurements and 30 days follow-up. This pilot clinical study will include ~50 patients over a year and half at GVI. We are confident that this approach performed via 3D-phantom testing will prove the validity of FFR-CT based measurements as well as develop a new standard for validating FFR-CT algorithms

Research Project Information

Student Skill-Set Needed: 3D modeling, 3D printing
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Ciprian Ionita
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Office: 8052 Ellicott ST
Phone: 7168295413