What is the time frame of a a) Left heart catheterization procedure with b) Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and c) fractional flow reserve measurement (FFR)? Ideally we would like to know the duration of each of the 3 procedures.

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What is the time frame of a a) Left heart catheterization procedure with b) Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and c) fractional flow reserve measurement (FFR)? Ideally we would like to know the duration of each of the 3 procedures.

We were able to locate approximate time frames for each of the requested procedures. The varied time procedure is the left heart catheterization procedure, which can take 30 minutes to approximately 180 minutes. The duration of the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is between 30 and 120 minutes. A fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurement will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Below you will find the methodology that led to the duration we have provided.

Methodology

Regarding the left heart catheterization, we obtained two reports, the blog for a cardiac practice and Medlineplus.gov, that each make the same vague pronouncement of "less than 1 hour to several hours." We searched farther to attempt to define the outer reaches of that range, leading to an industry blog, CathLabDigest. This publication explains the various impediments that can add time to the procedure, and provided the lower end of the time frame, 30 minutes. The upper limit of that duration was not provided in any source we could locate. To provide an upper limit in minutes, we assumed "several" would refer to more than 2 hours, but felt more than three would be excessive given the 30-minute minimum. This left 3 hours, or 180 minutes, as the outer reaches of the procedure. Although there was no specific information that referenced mulit-vessel verse single vessel, we did find that vascular assess can be complicated and prolong case times. In events of advanced vascular disease, the "arm approach may be used to complete this in a timely manner."

The PCI involved more precise numbers, but less agreement than the above procedure. According to MedicineNet, the procedure can last "from 30 minutes to two hours, but is usually completed within 60 minutes." Yet, an article on NCBI indicated the time frame for a PCI was unclear. Finally, ACLS.com states a patient should experience "a “door-to-balloon” time of less than 90 minutes." We took the lowest number and the highest, 30 and 120 respectively, to determine the range. There was no information published regarding if the disease type effected the time frame.

The last procedure, FFR, lasts 31 minutes according to Escardio.com and 30 minutes in the ScienceDirect article. We accepted 30 based on the greater authority held by the academic writing.

Conclusion

The left heart catheterization can occur within as little as 30 minutes or as much as 180 minutes. A PCI ranges between 30 minutes and 120 minutes. The FFR's duration is reported as 30 minutes.
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