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BACKGROUND: Diffuse coronary artery disease (CAD) impacts the safety and efficacy of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Pathophysiological CAD patterns can be quantified using fractional flow reserve (FFR) pullbacks incorporating the pullback pressure gradient (PPG) calculation. This study aimed to establish the capacity of PPG to predict optimal revascularisation and procedural outcomes. METHODS: This prospective, investigator-initiated, single-arm, multicentre study enrolled patients with at least one epicardial lesion with an FFR ≤ 0.80 scheduled for PCI. Manual FFR pullbacks were employed to calculate PPG. The primary outcome of optimal revascularisation was defined as a post-PCI FFR ≥ 0.88. RESULTS: 993 patients with 1044 vessels were included. The mean FFR was 0.68 ± 0.12, PPG 0.62 ± 0.17, and post-PCI FFR 0.87 ± 0.07. PPG was significantly correlated with the change in FFR after PCI (r=0.65, 95% CI 0.61-0.69, p<0.001) and demonstrated excellent predicted capacity for optimal revascularisation (AUC 0.82, 95% CI 0.79-0.84, p<0.001). Conversely, FFR alone did not predict revascularisation outcomes (AUC 0.54, 95% CI 0.50-0.57). PPG influenced treatment decisions in 14% of patients, redirecting them from PCI to alternative treatment modalities. Periprocedural myocardial infarction occurred more frequently in patients with low PPG (<0.62) compared to those with focal disease (OR 1.71, 95% CI: 1.00-2.97). CONCLUSIONS: Pathophysiological CAD patterns distinctly affect the safety and effectiveness of PCI. The PPG showed an excellent predictive capacity for optimal revascularisation and demonstrated added value compared to a FFR measurement.

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