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Circulation. 2013 Feb 19;127(7):820-31. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.147488. Epub 2012 Dec 31.

Cost-effectiveness of percutaneous coronary intervention with drug eluting stents versus bypass surgery for patients with diabetes mellitus and multivessel coronary artery disease: results from the FREEDOM trial.

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  • 1Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO 64111, USA.



Studies from the balloon angioplasty and bare metal stent eras have demonstrated that coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is cost-effective compared with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for patients undergoing multivessel coronary revascularization-particularly among patients with complex coronary artery disease or diabetes mellitus. Whether these results apply in the drug-eluting stent (DES) era is unknown.


Between 2005 and 2010, 1900 patients with diabetes mellitus and multivessel coronary artery disease were randomized to PCI with DES (DES-PCI; n=953) or CABG (n=947). Costs were assessed from the perspective of the U.S. health care system. Health state utilities were assessed using the EuroQOL 5 dimension 3 level questionnaire. A patient-level microsimulation model based on U.S. life-tables and in-trial results was used to estimate lifetime cost-effectiveness. Although initial procedural costs were lower for CABG, total costs for the index hospitalization were $8622 higher per patient. Over the next 5 years, follow-up costs were higher with PCI, owing to more frequent repeat revascularization and higher outpatient medication costs. Nonetheless, cumulative 5-year costs remained $3641 higher per patient with CABG. Although there were only modest gains in survival with CABG during the trial period, when the in-trial results were extended to a lifetime horizon, CABG was projected to be economically attractive relative to DES-PCI, with substantial gains in both life expectancy and quality-adjusted life expectancy and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios <$10 000 per life-year or quality-adjusted life-year gained across a broad range of assumptions regarding the effect of CABG on post-trial survival and costs.


Despite higher initial costs, CABG is a highly cost-effective revascularization strategy compared with DES-PCI for patients with diabetes mellitus and multivessel coronary artery disease.


URL: Unique identifier: NCT00086450.

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