Cost-Effectiveness of FDG-PET/CT for Cytologically Indeterminate Thyroid Nodules: A Decision Analytic Approach
SourceJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 99, 9, (2014), pp. 3263-3274
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
SubjectRadboudumc 14: Tumours of the digestive tract RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
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 euro3684 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 euro1030 and euro3851, 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.
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