Invasive Coronary Physiological Assessment in Symptomatic Middle-Aged Endurance Athletes

Abstract Despite the health benefits of routine exercise, coronary artery disease (CAD) is common among older competitive athletes and is an important cause of sudden cardiac death. Athletes with suspected or confirmed CAD routinely undergo conventional coronary angiography involving the performance of invasive coronary physiological assessment using the fractional flow reserve (FFR) or the instantaneous-wave free ratio (iFR). Data defining the role of invasive coronary physiological assessment, while robust in general clinical populations, are untested among older competitive athletes with CAD. The paper discusses the challenges and uncertainties surrounding the use of the FFR and iFR in this unique population with an emphasis on the need for future work to better define this approach.