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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Sep;99(9):3263-74. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-3483. Epub 2014 May 29.

Cost-effectiveness of FDG-PET/CT for cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules: a decision analytic approach.

Author information

1
Departments of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (D.V., W.J.G.O., L.F.d.G.-O.), Health Evidence (E.M.M.A.), Internal Medicine Section of Endocrinology (R.T.N.-M.), Internal Medicine (J.W.A.S.), and Surgery (J.H.W.d.W.), Radboudumc, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Patients with thyroid nodules of indeterminate cytology undergo diagnostic surgery according to current guidelines. In 75% of patients, the nodule is benign. In these patients, surgery was unnecessary and unbeneficial because complications may occur. Preoperative fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) was found to have a very high negative predictive value (96%) and might therefore avoid futile surgery, complications, and costs. In the United States, two molecular tests of cytology material are routinely used for this purpose.

OBJECTIVE:

Five-year cost-effectiveness for routine implementation of FDG-PET/CT was evaluated in adult patients with indeterminate fine-needle aspiration cytology and compared with surgery in all patients and both molecular tests.

DESIGN:

A Markov decision model was developed to synthesize the evidence on cost-effectiveness about the four alternative strategies. The model was probabilistically analyzed. One-way sensitivity analyses of deterministic input variables likely to influence outcome were performed.

SETTING AND SUBJECTS:

The model was representative for adult patients with cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The discounted incremental net monetary benefit (iNMB), the efficiency decision rule containing outcomes as quality-adjusted life-years and (direct) medical cost, of implementation of FDG-PET/CT is displayed.

RESULTS:

Full implementation of FDG-PET/CT resulted in 40% surgery for benign nodules, compared with 75% in the conventional approach, without a difference in recurrence free and overall survival. The FDG-PET/CT modality is the more efficient technology, with a mean iNMB of €3684 compared with surgery in all. Also, compared with a gene expression classifier test and a molecular marker panel, the mean iNMB of FDG-PET/CT was €1030 and €3851, respectively, and consequently the more efficient alternative.

CONCLUSION:

Full implementation of preoperative FDG-PET/CT in patients with indeterminate thyroid nodules could prevent up to 47% of current unnecessary surgery leading to lower costs and a modest increase of health-related quality of life. Compared with an approach with diagnostic surgery in all patients and both molecular tests, it is the least expensive alternative with similar effectiveness as the gene-expression classifier.

PMID:
24873995
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2013-3483
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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