UK NICE Recommends HeartFlow® FFRct to Understand Stable Chest Pain

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance for use of the HeartFlow® FFRct Analysis to help determine the cause of stable chest pain in patients.


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death for both men and women around the world. It is also one of the costliest medical diseases in the world today.

HeartFlow, Inc. is a personalized medical technology company seeking to transform the way cardiovascular disease is diagnosed and treated. The company’s HeartFlow FFRct Analysis is the first available non-invasive solution that enables a physician to more accurately evaluate whether a patient has significant coronary artery disease (CAD) and the impact that disease has on blood flow to the heart, enabling clinicians to select an appropriate treatment based on both anatomy and physiology.

The system creates a personalized 3D model of the patient’s arteries and has the potential to improve clinical outcomes, improve the patient experience and reduce the cost of care. In HeartFlow’s assessment, this positions it well to become an integral part of the standard of care for patients who are at risk for CAD, and it seems NICE agrees. The agency recommends the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis for patients with stable recent onset chest pain concluding the technology is safe, has a high level of diagnostic accuracy and may avoid the need for invasive coronary angiography. The committee further concluded that, when compared to all other tests, use of the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis could save the NHS approximately £214 per patient (equating to £9.1million/year in NHS England alone) through avoiding unnecessary invasive tests and treatment.

This new guidance follows chest pain guidelines issued by NICE in November 2016, recommending non-invasive coronary CT angiography (cCTA) as the initial diagnostic test for patients with stable chest pain. NICE now recommends the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis as the most cost effective option when additional information is needed by the clinician. HeartFlow’s process starts with data from a standard, non-invasive cCTA. Leveraging deep learning, an advanced form of artificial intelligence, HeartFlow creates a personalised, 3D model of each patient’s arteries. Powerful computer algorithms then solve millions of complex equations to simulate blood flow and assess the impact of blockages in the arteries. With this actionable information, physicians can determine the right course of action for each patient.

Physician comments

“The HeartFlow FFRct Analysis provides a definitive understanding of both the anatomical and functional findings, without any additional testing or risk for patients,” said Dr. Joseph Mills, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

“Application of the HeartFlow FFRct Analysis is likely to transform the quality of care we can provide for patients, ensuring the most accurate diagnosis and the best treatment plan, as well reducing the need for invasive coronary angiography – a procedure not without its risks.”

Patient comments

Following some chest pain and increasing difficulty with exercise, John Roberts, 50 of Southport, took part in trial use of the technology. “I feel extremely lucky to have had access to the non-invasive HeartFlow FFRct Analysis. It’s given me a complete second chance – it showed my doctor that I needed a stent to address my blockage and help prevent a heart attack. I am so grateful that I was able to get the treatment that was right for me at the right time – it’s been absolutely life changing and I’m already back to doing my 10k runs.”

Company comments

“The NICE guidance reinforces the value of the HeartFlow Analysis and affirms this technology can improve the way coronary artery disease is diagnosed and treated,” said John H. Stevens, M.D., chairman and CEO of HeartFlow.

“We appreciate NICE’s thorough review of HeartFlow’s technology and believe their detailed assessment will be a valuable resource for providers and payers seeking to improve patient care.”

Source: HeartFlow, Inc.

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