Artificial intelligence can improve coronary blood flow measurements and benefit patients with angina and coronary disease

Dr Richard Petraco

Coronary blood flow reserve (CFR) assessment is a valuable clinical tool used in cardiology to investigate patients with angina. However, traditional methods for measuring CFR using invasive Doppler have limitations, including sensitivity to noise and the potential for operator bias, which limit its applicability in clinical practice. A study led by Dr Ricardo Petraco, consultant cardiologist at Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London, and a team of researchers at Imperial College, has demonstrated that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to significantly improve CFR measurements during cardiac catheterisation.

The team trained a neural network using images extracted from coronary Doppler flow recordings from patients who underwent coronary angiography. The AI-generated results were independently compared to assessments made by leading expert cardiologists. The AI showed high agreement with expert consensus, demonstrating its ability to accurately evaluate Doppler signal quality. The AI algorithms were also able to automatically track coronary blood flow, outperforming existing console algorithms, with significantly better agreement against experts. The AI agreed better with expert consensus, on average, than individual experts amongst themselves.

By automating and improving the precision of Doppler CFR measurements, AI has the potential to make this technique more accessible in clinical practice. This means that AI can help expand the use of coronary flow assessment by making it less dependent on operator expertise and more consistent in its results, benefiting many more patients who suffer from coronary disease and angina.

Dr Petraco is an internationally recognised cardiologist with extensive clinical and academic experience in coronary artery disease, chest pains and angina. He is also part of our expert cardiology team at Mayo Clinic Healthcare. Our cardiology team tailors care to your needs while working closely with Mayo Clinic's top-ranked team of consultants in the U.S. Mayo Clinic Healthcare experts employ a range of sophisticated cardiac imaging equipment to ensure a full understanding of patients’ conditions. On-site diagnostics include cardiac MRI, CT coronary angiogram, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (ECG) and transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE).

To learn more about Mayo Clinic Healthcare’s state of the art cardiology services and how to make a referral, call +44 (0) 207 871 2575 or email

To learn more about this research and access the full article please click here.