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Cost effectiveness of computed tomography versus ultrasound-based surveillance following endovascular aortic repair of intact infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Abstract

A hybrid strategy in which CTA is performed in the first year and CDU is performed annually thereafter is the most cost-effective strategy for infrarenal EVAR surveillance in patients with less than a 20% risk of contrast-induced nephropathy. If the sensitivity of CEU and CDU are at the lower end of plausible estimates, a yearly CTA strategy is reasonable. Further research should aim to identify patients who may benefit from alternative surveillance strategies.

While Society for Vascular Surgery guidelines recommend computed tomography angiography (CTA) or ultrasound for surveillance following infrarenal endovascular aortic repair (EVAR), there is a lack of consensus regarding optimal timing and modalities. We hypothesized that ultrasound-based approaches would be more cost-effective and developed a cost-effectiveness analysis to estimate the lifetime costs and outcomes of various strategies.

Under base case assumptions, the CTA-CDU strategy was cost effective with a lifetime cost of $77950 for 7.74 QALYs. In sensitivity analysis, the CTA-CDU approach remained cost-effective when CEU specificity was less than 95%, and risk of acute kidney injury following CTA was less than 20%. At diagnostic sensitivities below 75% for CEU and 55% for CDU, a yearly CTA strategy maximized QALYs.

We developed a decision tree with nested Markov models to compare five surveillance strategies: yearly CTA, yearly CDU, yearly CEU, CTA at first year followed by CDU, and CTA at first year followed by CEU. The model accounted for differential sensitivity, specificity, and risk of acute kidney injury after CTA, and was implemented on a monthly cycle with a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) and 3% annual discounting.

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