Myocardial ischemia caused by coronary atherosclerosis is the main cause of cardiovascular mortality, which is the first cause of death in developed countries. Inducible myocardial ischemia is a negative prognostic factor for coronary artery disease patients, and it represents a major risk stratification marker for predicting mortality. The evolution of these patients depends largely on the extension of the ischemic myocardial mass and the severity of the inducible ischemia. Most patients do not show angiographically significant coronary stenosis. Therefore, such patients do not undergo coronary revascularization therapies, even though they present functional stenoses that trigger myocardial ischemia under stress conditions, which subsequently lead to a high risk for major adverse cardiovascular events. We performed a review that aims to pinpoint invasive techniques used for evaluating the functional impact of a coronary lesion that is considered non-significant upon angiographic examination, but which triggers episodes of myocardial ischemia under stress conditions, and to describe the functional markers that show the highest specificity for predicting ischemic risk, in order to recommend invasive coronary revascularization.
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