The usefulness of cardiac CT integrated with FFRCT for planning myocardial revascularization in complex coronary artery disease: a lesson from SYNTAX studies
After two decades of clinical use, during which coronary CT angiography (CCTA) was considered an appropriate method for the non-invasive assessment of patients with suspected stable coronary artery disease (CAD) and low-to-intermediate pretest likelihood of CAD, a growing body of literature is showing that CCTA may have also a clinical role in patients with high pretest likelihood of CAD, known CAD and complex and diffuse CAD. Particularly, the SYNTAX studies demonstrated the usefulness of CCTA in the field of non-invasive assessment of these patients and planning of interventional and surgical coronary procedures, thanks to its ability to combine, in a single method, precise stenosis quantification, accurate plaque characterization, functional assessment and selection of the revascularization modality for any individual patient and of the vessels that need to be revascularized. Of note, the SYNTAX III Revolution trial showed, in patients with three-vessel CAD, that treatment decision-making between PCI and CABG based on CCTA only has an almost perfect agreement with the treatment decision derived from invasive coronary angiography (ICA). Moreover, the SYNTAX Score II demonstrated a high degree of correlation between the two diagnostic strategies, suggesting the potential feasibility of a treatment decision-making based solely on non-invasive imaging and clinical information. New research prospects have opened up for the future to demonstrate the true feasibility and safety of this innovative approach in the clinical arena.