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Cardiovasc Ultrasound. 2008 May 29;6:21. doi: 10.1186/1476-7120-6-21.

Economic analysis including long-term risks and costs of alternative diagnostic strategies to evaluate patients with chest pain.

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  • 1Hospital S, Maria della Scaletta, Imola, Italy. gigliola.bedetti@tin.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Diagnosis costs for cardiovascular disease waste a large amount of healthcare resources. The aim of the study is to evaluate the clinical and economic outcomes of alternative diagnostic strategies in low risk chest pain patients.

METHODS:

We evaluated direct and indirect downstream costs of 6 strategies: coronary angiography (CA) after positive troponin I or T (cTn-I or cTnT) (strategy 1); after positive exercise electrocardiography (ex-ECG) (strategy 2); after positive exercise echocardiography (ex-Echo) (strategy 3); after positive pharmacologic stress echocardiography (PhSE) (strategy 4); after positive myocardial exercise stress single-photon emission computed tomography with technetium Tc 99m sestamibi (ex-SPECT-Tc) (strategy 5) and direct CA (strategy 6).

RESULTS:

The predictive accuracy in correctly identifying the patients was 83,1% for cTn-I, 87% for cTn-T, 85,1% for ex-ECG, 93,4% for ex-Echo, 98,5% for PhSE, 89,4% for ex-SPECT-Tc and 18,7% for CA. The cost per patient correctly identified results $2.051 for cTn-I, $2.086 for cTn-T, $1.890 for ex-ECG, $803 for ex-Echo, $533 for PhSE, $1.521 for ex-SPECT-Tc ($1.634 including cost of extra risk of cancer) and $29.673 for CA ($29.999 including cost of extra risk of cancer). The average relative cost-effectiveness of cardiac imaging compared with the PhSE equal to 1 (as a cost comparator), the relative cost of ex-Echo is 1.5x, of a ex-SPECT-Tc is 3.1x, of a ex-ECG is 3.5x, of cTnI is x3.8, of cTnT is x3.9 and of a CA is 56.3x.

CONCLUSION:

Stress echocardiography based strategies are cost-effective versus alternative imaging strategies and the risk and cost of radiation exposure is void.

PMID:
18510723
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2435520
Free PMC Article
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