Cost-effectiveness of pediatric heart transplantation across a positive crossmatch for high waitlist urgency candidates.


Allosensitized children listed with a requirement for a negative prospective crossmatch have high mortality. Previously, we found that listing with the intent to accept the first suitable organ offer, regardless of the possibility of a positive crossmatch (TAKE strategy), results in a survival advantage from the time of listing compared to awaiting transplantation across a negative crossmatch (WAIT). The cost-effectiveness of these strategies is unknown. We used Markov modeling to compare cost-effectiveness between these waitlist strategies for allosensitized children listed urgently for heart transplantation. We used registry data to estimate costs and waitlist/posttransplant outcomes. We assumed patients remained in hospital after listing, no positive crossmatches for WAIT, and a base-case probability of a positive crossmatch of 47% for TAKE. Accepting the first suitable organ offer cost less ($405 904 vs. $534 035) and gained more quality-adjusted life years (3.71 vs. 2.79). In sensitivity analyses, including substitution of waitlist data from children with unacceptable antigens specified during listing, TAKE remained cost-saving or cost-effective. Our findings suggest acceptance of the first suitable organ offer for urgently listed allosensitized pediatric heart transplant candidates is cost-effective and transplantation should not be denied because of allosensitization status alone.

MIDAS Network Members