Purpose: (123)I-N-omega-fluoropropyl-2-beta-carboxymethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane ((123)I-FP-CIT) Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) has been suggested to be a useful diagnostic adjunct in patients with clinically uncertain parkinsonism. We developed a pharmaco-economic (PE) model, evaluating the cost effectiveness of adding (123)I-FP-CIT SPECT to the diagnostic workup. As the model was developed before application of the diagnostic technique in real practice, a predictive validity assessment was performed based on data from a large nationwide patient registry in these patients.
Methods: A PE model, using a Markov state transition model, was created, based on literature-derived and clinical expert panel data. Effects were expressed as adequately treated years (ATY). Key input data were compared to the real-life patterns in a nationwide multi-centre clinical setting, based on a complete national registry of 1,701 consecutive patients. The change in initial diagnosis and alteration of management of the patient after SPECT were registered.
Results: In the PE model, it was calculated that management would change in 48.5% of patients by SPECT and that, over a 5-year period, 1.2 ATYs could be gained at a yearly additional cost of 72 euro. From the studied 1,701 patients, nigrostriatal degeneration was observed in 59.8%, the initial diagnosis was changed in 51.5%, management was altered in 49%, and cost effectiveness was increased to 358 euro per ATY.
Conclusion: Good correspondence between assumed and observed changes in patient management was found, indicating that (123)I-FP-CIT SPECT is influential in diagnosis and management of patients with uncertain clinical diagnosis of parkinsonism. This can be achieved at a marginal added cost to the health insurance and leads to a significant gain in ATY.