Flow Reserve studies
This is a quick procedure which is carried out in the cath lab to assess the severity of any narrowing's which cannot otherwise be assessed radiographically.
A very fine catheter with a sensitive blood pressure detector mounted at its tip is guided through the narrowed vessel. A drug which dramatically increases the workload of the heart is then administered to the patient.
The effects of the drug are very short lasting but last long enough to let us know whether enough blood flow is getting passed the narrowing under stressful conditions and therefore whether it is necessary to carry out a PTCA to the narrowing.