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Med Decis Making. 1998 Apr-Jun;18(2):187-201.

Decision and cost-utility analyses of surgical versus transcatheter closure of patent ductus arteriosus: should you let a smile be your umbrella?

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.


Decision and cost-utility analyses considered the tradeoffs of treating patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) using conventional surgery versus transcatheter implantation of the Rashkind occluder. Physicians and informed lay parents assigned utility scores to procedure success/complications combinations seen in prognostically similar pediatric patients with isolated PDA treated from 1982 to 1987. Utility scores multiplied by outcome frequencies from a comparative study generated expected utility values for the two approaches. Cost-utility analyses combined these results with simulated provider cost estimates from 1989. On a 0-100 scale (worst to best observed outcome), the median expected utility for surgery was 99.96, versus 98.88 for the occluder. Results of most sensitivity analyses also slightly favored surgery. Expected utility differences based on 1987 data were minimal. With a mean overall simulated cost of $8,838 vs $12,466 for the occluder, surgery was favored in most cost-utility analyses. Use of the inherently less invasive but less successful, more risky, and more costly occluder approach conferred no apparent net advantage in this study. Analyses of comparable current data would be informative.

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