Application of the DILEMMA score to improve lesion selection for invasive physiological assessment

Michael Michail, Hakim-Moulay Dehbi, Nitesh Nerlekar, Justin E. Davies, Andrew S.P. Sharp, Suneel Talwar, James D. Cameron, Adam J. Brown, Dennis T. Wong, Anthony Mathur, Alun D. Hughes, Om Narayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We sought to assess the validity of the DILEMMA score against instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) and evaluate its utility in rationalizing the number of patients referred for invasive physiological assessment. Background: The DILEMMA score is a validated angiographic scoring tool incorporating minimal lumen diameter, lesion length and subtended myocardial area that has been shown to predict the functional significance of lesions as assessed by fractional flow reserve (FFR). Methods: Patients in the DEFINE-FLAIR study who had coronary stenosis of intermediate severity were randomized to either FFR or iFR. DILEMMA score was calculated retrospectively on a subset of this cohort by operators blinded to FFR or iFR values. Results: Three hundred and forty-six lesions (181 assessed by FFR; 165 by iFR) from 259 patients (mean age 66.0 years, 79% male) were included. A DILEMMA score ≤ 2 had a negative predictive value of 96.3% and 95.7% for identifying lesions with FFR >0.80 and iFR >0.89, respectively. A DILEMMA score ≥ 9 had a positive predictive value of 88.9% and 100% for identifying lesions with FFR ≤0.80 and iFR ≤0.89, respectively. The receiver operating characteristic area under the curve values for DILEMMA score to predict FFR ≤0.80 and iFR ≤0.89 were 0.83 (95% CI 0.77–0.90) and 0.82 (0.75–0.89) respectively. A DILEMMA score ≤ 2 or ≥9 occurred in 172 of the 346 lesions (49.7%). Conclusions: Using DILEMMA score in patients with coronary stenosis of intermediate severity may reduce the need for pressure wire use, offering potential cost-savings and minimizing the risks associated with invasive physiological lesion assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E96-E103
Number of pages8
JournalCatheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • angiography, coronary
  • coronary artery disease
  • coronary blood flow/physiology/microvascular function
  • fractional flow reserve
  • percutaneous coronary intervention

Cite this