The functional significance of coronary artery disease is often inadequately revealed by the solely anatomic information provided by coronary angiography, especially with respect to intermediate-severity stenoses and the complex lesions that result from percutaneous coronary intervention. The clinical application of coronary flow velocity measurements using the Doppler flow wire during cardiac catheterization represents a promising means for providing immediate physiologic assessment of coronary artery lesion significance. Recent correlations with translesional hemodynamics and noninvasive perfusion imaging have confirmed the accuracy and reliability of Doppler translesional flow velocity assessment. The use of intracoronary flow velocity data for functional assessment can refine the selection of patients for revascularization, Furthermore, measurements of translesional and distal coronary flow velocity dynamics during procedures provide immediate data regarding the physiologic adequacy of the intervention. The information provided by the analysis of coronary blood flow using the Doppler guide wire can serve to improve the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of interventional cardiology.