Wave Separation, Wave Intensity, the Reservoir-Wave Concept, and the Instantaneous Wave-Free Ratio
Presumptions and Principles
Wave separation analysis and wave intensity analysis (WIA) use (aortic) pressure and flow to separate them in their forward and backward (reflected) waves. While wave separation analysis uses measured pressure and flow, WIA uses their derivatives. Because differentiation emphasizes rapid changes, WIA suppresses slow (diastolic) fluctuations of the waves and renders diastole a seemingly wave-free period. However, integration of the WIA-obtained forward and backward waves is equal to the wave separation analysis–obtained waves. Both the methods thus give similar results including backward waves spanning systole and diastole. Nevertheless, this seemingly wave-free period in diastole formed the basis of both the reservoir-wave concept and the Instantaneous wave-Free Ratio of (iFR) pressure and flow. The reservoir-wave concept introduces a reservoir pressure, Pres, (Frank Windkessel) as a wave-less phenomenon. Because this Windkessel model falls short in systole an excess pressure, Pexc, is introduced, which is assumed to have wave properties. The reservoir-wave concept, however, is internally inconsistent. The presumed wave-less Pres equals twice the backward pressure wave and travels, arriving later in the distal aorta. Hence, in contrast, Pexc is minimally affected by wave reflections. Taken together, Pres seems to behave as a wave, rather than Pexc. The iFR is also not without flaws, as easily demonstrated when applied to the aorta. The ratio of diastolic aortic pressure and flow implies division by zero giving nonsensical results. In conclusion, presumptions based on WIA have led to misconceptions that violate physical principles, and reservoir-wave concept and iFR should be abandoned.
- Received March 29, 2015.
- Revision received April 11, 2015.
- Accepted April 28, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.