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Gastroenterology. 2013 Jan;144(1):62-73.e6. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2012.09.060. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Health benefits and cost effectiveness of endoscopic and nonendoscopic cytosponge screening for Barrett's esophagus.

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  • 1Medical Research Council, Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom.



We developed a model to compare the health benefits and cost effectiveness of screening for Barrett's esophagus by either Cytosponge™ or by conventional endoscopy vs no screening, and to estimate their abilities to reduce mortality from esophageal adenocarcinoma.


We used microsimulation modeling of a hypothetical cohort of 50-year-old men in the United Kingdom with histories of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms, assuming the prevalence of Barrett's esophagus to be 8%. Participants were invited to undergo screening by endoscopy or Cytosponge (invitation acceptance rates of 23% and 45%, respectively), and outcomes were compared with those from men who underwent no screening. We estimated the number of incident esophageal adenocarcinoma cases prevented and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) of the different strategies. Patients found to have high-grade dysplasia or intramucosal cancer received endotherapy. Model inputs included data on disease progression, test accuracy, post-treatment status, and surveillance protocols. Costs and benefits were discounted at 3.5% per year. Supplementary and sensitivity analyses comprised esophagectomy management of high-grade dysplasia or intramucosal cancer, screening by ultrathin nasal endoscopy, and different assumptions of uptake of screening invitations for either strategy.


We estimated that compared with no screening, Cytosponge screening followed by treatment of patients with dysplasia or intramucosal cancer costs an additional $240 (95% credible interval, $196-$320) per screening participant and results in a mean gain of 0.015 (95% credible interval, -0.001 to 0.029) QALYs and an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $15.7 thousand (K) per QALY. The respective values for endoscopy were $299 ($261-$367), 0.013 (0.003-0.023) QALYs, and $22.2K. Screening by the Cytosponge followed by treatment of patients with dysplasia or intramucosal cancer would reduce the number of cases of incident symptomatic esophageal adenocarcinoma by 19%, compared with 17% for screening by endoscopy, although this greater benefit for Cytosponge depends on more patients accepting screening by Cytosponge compared with screening by endoscopy.


In a microsimulation model, screening 50-year-old men with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease by Cytosponge is cost effective and would reduce mortality from esophageal adenocarcinoma compared with no screening.

Copyright © 2013 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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