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Nearly half of all patients with angina have non-obstructive coronary artery disease (ANOCA); this is an umbrella term comprising heterogeneous vascular disorders, each with disparate pathophysiology and prognosis. Approximately two-thirds of patients with ANOCA have coronary microvascular disease (CMD). CMD can be secondary to architectural changes within the microcirculation or secondary to vasomotor dysfunction. An inability of the coronary vasculature to augment blood flow in response to heightened myocardial demand is defined as an impaired coronary flow reserve (CFR), which can be measured non-invasively, using imaging, or invasively during cardiac catheterisation. Impaired CFR is associated with myocardial ischaemia and adverse cardiovascular outcomes.The CMD workstream is part of the cardiovascular partnership between the British Heart Foundation and The National Institute for Health Research in the UK and comprises specialist cardiac centres with expertise in coronary physiology assessment. This document outlines the two main modalities (thermodilution and Doppler techniques) for estimation of coronary flow, vasomotor testing using acetylcholine, and outlines a standard operating procedure that could be considered for adoption by national networks. Accurate and timely disease characterisation of patients with ANOCA will enable clinicians to tailor therapy according to their patients’ coronary physiology. This has been shown to improve patients’ quality of life and may lead to improved cardiovascular outcomes in the long term.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/heartjnl-2021-320718

Type

Journal article

Journal

Heart

Publisher

BMJ

Publication Date

22/03/2022