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A health economic evaluation of needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy for the diagnosis of pancreatic cysts
submitted 22 February 2017
accepted after revision 04 July 2017
09 October 2017 (online)
Background and study aims The low sensitivity of endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA), especially for the diagnosis of serous cystadenomas (SCAs), can be associated with diagnostic uncertainty that can regularly lead to unnecessary surgical procedures. Needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (nCLE) used with EUS-FNA improves diagnostic accuracy, helping to reduce unnecessary surgery and patient follow-up. This study was conducted to evaluate the economic benefit of EUS-FNA + nCLE.
Patients and methods Probabilities used were derived from two studies representative of the two diagnostic strategies: a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed by EUS-FNA alone and a prospective study of patients diagnosed by EUS-FNA + nCLE. Costs were based on French healthcare system rates; both private and public sector rates were included. A decision tree structure model used these probabilities and costs for two hypothetical cohorts of 1000 patients.
Results EUS-FNA + nCLE resulted in a reduction of 23 % in the total rate of surgical intervention, which translated to a reduction in clinical costs of 13 % (public sector) and 14 % (private sector). Additionally, the reduced rate of surgery would save the lives of 4 in 1000 patients. A stochastic sensitivity analysis using 100 simulations showed that in all cases the number of interventions was less for EUS-FNA + nCLE than for EUS-FNA. There was also a reduction in the incidence of false negatives using EUS-FNA + nCLE.
Conclusions EUS-FNA + nCLE results in significant economic benefits by reducing the incidence of misdiagnosis through improved diagnostic accuracy.
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