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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Oct;2(10):868-79.

Cost-effectiveness model of endoscopic screening and surveillance in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5202, USA.



Endoscopic screening and periodic surveillance for patients with Barrett's esophagus has been shown to be cost-effective in patients with esophageal dysplasia, with treatment for esophageal cancer limited to esophagectomy. Most gastroenterologists refer patients with high-grade dysplasia for esophagectomy, and effective endoscopic therapies are available for nonoperative patients with esophageal cancer. The cost-effectiveness of screening strategies that incorporate these nonsurgical treatment modalities has not been determined.


We designed a Markov model to compare lifetime costs and life expectancy for a cohort of 50-year-old men with chronic reflux symptoms. We compared 10 clinical strategies incorporating combinations of screening and surveillance protocols (no screening, screening with periodic surveillance for both dysplastic and nondysplastic Barrett's esophagus, or periodic surveillance for dysplasia only), treatment for high-grade dysplasia (esophagectomy or intensive surveillance), and treatment for cancer (esophagectomy or surgical and endoscopic treatment options).


Screening and surveillance of patients with both dysplastic and nondysplastic Barrett's esophagus followed by esophagectomy for surgical candidates with high-grade dysplasia or esophageal cancer and endoscopic therapy for cancer patients who were not operative candidates cost $12,140 per life-year gained compared to no screening. Other screening strategies, including strategies that had no endoscopic treatment options, were either less effective at the same cost, or equally effective at a higher cost.


The cost-effectiveness of screening and subsequent surveillance of patients with dysplastic as well as nondysplastic Barrett's esophagus followed by endoscopic or surgical therapy in patients who develop cancer compares favorably to many widely accepted screening strategies for cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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