CT-FFR HeartFlow

Dorset Heart Clinic Adopts HeartFlow Analysis, a Novel Diagnostic Tool for Heart Disease

New Non-Invasive Test Can Help Doctors Diagnose and Treat Heart Disease, and Reduce Costs

Bournemouth, Dorset, UK – 21 December 2018 – Dorset Heart Clinic announced today that it is the only Private Provider in Dorset to offer HeartFlow Analysis, a first-of-its-kind non-invasive technology to aid doctors in the diagnoses of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form of heart disease.

CAD is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United Kingdom. CAD develops when the arteries leading to the heart narrow or become blocked, which may lead to a reduction in blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attacks and death. Despite being the most common form of heart disease, studies have shown there is a need to improve how CAD is evaluated and diagnosed. Many of the non-invasive tests available today have low accuracy rates in detecting CAD. Additionally, a recent study found more than half of patients with suspected CAD who underwent an invasive coronary angiogram (ICA) had no need for intervention, since no blood flow-limiting blockage was found during the procedure.

“Historically, we have been faced with either using tests that were frequently inaccurate or putting a patient through an invasive procedure just to determine whether they would need another invasive procedure to restore blood flow.” said Dr. Peter O’Kane, Consultant Cardiologist, Dorset Heart Clinic. “The HeartFlow Analysis completely changes this paradigm, providing essential information that can help us determine the right approach for a patient through a convenient, non-invasive platform.”

Until now, non-invasive heart tests, such as stress tests, provided us with very little information about chest pain. This led to consultants and doctors having to perform more invasive testing to find a diagnosis for coronary artery disease.

HeartFlow FFR-CT Analysis is the first non-invasive diagnostic tool in the world that helps doctors in diagnosing heart disease, by determining how narrow the arteries have become and the impact that this has on blood flow to the heart.

This non-invasive diagnostic test for heart disease that is now only available to private patients in Dorset at the Dorset Heart Clinic. The test uses data obtained during a CT Coronary Angiogram.

This has changed the way cardiologists are able to analyse the impact of blockages on blood flow. FFR-CT, which stands for Fractional Flow Reserve using CT, launched by American company HeartFlow Inc., is a revolutionary procedure, which is the first of its kind to provide an accurate assessment of cardiac health without the need for invasive treatment.

The HeartFlow analysis is intended to support the functional evaluation of coronary artery disease in patients with stable chest pain. Coronary artery disease (CAD) can cause the arteries leading to your heart to be narrowed, or pinched, which can dangerously affect blood flow and the functioning of your heart. When diagnosing CAD, physicians rely on many tools.

Today, the HeartFlow Analysis is the only non-invasive tool that can help your doctor to determine both the extent of an artery’s narrowing and any impact it may have on the functioning of the heart. Prior to the availability of this technology a patient would undergo a CT Coronary Angiogram and, if needed, an invasive FFR whereby a tube is inserted into the leg or wrist sending a wire down a coronary artery. Pressure readings are taken to assess the FFR; this can determine whether interventions such as surgery or an angioplasty are required.

The CT-FFR procedure differs in that the CT scan data can be transferred, via cloud technology, to the HeartFlow team, who are able to analyse the data and create a personalised 3D model of the heart and arteries. From there, algorithms are created to assess the impact of blockages on blood flow. The result of this is a colour-coded picture that is used to determine further treatment, which is sent to Dorset Heart Clinic within 24 hours.

HeartFlow FFRCT Analysis is the first non-invasive diagnostic tool that helps doctors in diagnosing heart disease, by determining how narrow the arteries have become and the impact that this has on blood flow to the heart.

NICE Guidance issued in November 2016 recommends the use of coronary CT angiography (CTA) as a frontline test for any patient whose clinical assessment indicates atypical or atypical chest pain.

Final NICE guidance issued in February 2017 has stated:
“The case for adopting HeartFlow FFRct for estimating fractional flow reserve from coronary CT angiography is supported by the evidence. The technology is non-invasive and safe, and has a high level of diagnostic accuracy.”

How it works:-

  1. If you are experiencing cardiac chest symptoms you will be referred for a standard CT scan, providing detailed pictures of the coronary arteries
  2. If these CT images show indications of disease, this will then be sent to HeartFlow to create a computerised 3D model of the coronary arteries
  3. Trained specialists and proven calculations with powerful computers will assess the blood flow in the arteries
  4. Your consultant receives a digital 3D colour coded model of the blood flow, aiding in diagnosing blockages and will be able to make a diagnosis and treatment plan for you


To find out more or to book an appointment with a cardiologist, please contact our DHC office from 9:00am-5:00pm Monday to Friday, on 01202 705454 or request a callback here.