Objectives: This study investigated the sex difference of long-term cardiovascular outcomes on coronary flow reserve (CFR) and index of microcirculatory resistance (IMR) in patients with deferred coronary artery lesions. Background: Coronary microvascular dysfunction is associated with poorer long-term outcomes. It can be assessed by CFR and the IMR. Methods: The study prospectively enrolled 434 patients (133 women and 301 men) and analyzed CFR, IMR, fractional flow reserve, and quantitative coronary angiography. Clinical outcomes were assessed by major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and revascularization during 5 years of follow-up. The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board or Ethics Committee at each participating center, and all patients provided written informed consent. The study protocol was in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Results: Women had milder epicardial disease compared with men (fractional flow reserve: 0.91 [interquartile range (IQR): 0.87 to 0.96] vs. 0.90 [IQR: 0.86 to 0.95]; p = 0.037). IMR was similar between the sexes, but CFR was lower in women (2.69 [IQR: 2.08 to 3.90] vs. 3.20 [IQR: 2.20 to 4.31]; p = 0.006) due to a shorter resting mean transit time, whereas hyperemic mean transit times were similar. At 5-year follow-up, MACE was significantly lower in women compared with men (1.1% vs. 5.5%; p = 0.017). Sex, diabetes mellitus, and CFR were independent predictors for MACE for all patients. The risk of MACE was significantly higher in men with low versus high CFR (hazard ratio: 4.58; 95% confidence interval: 1.85 to 11.30; p = 0.011) which was not seen in women. Conclusions: There was no sex difference in microvascular function by IMR. CFR was lower in women due to a higher resting coronary flow; however, long-term clinical outcomes in deferred lesions were better in women compared with men. (Clinical, Physiological and Prognostic Implication of Microvascular Status; NCT02186093).
- coronary artery disease
- coronary flow reserve
- fractional flow reserve
- index of microcirculatory resistance
- microvascular function