A UK-based cost-utility analysis of radiofrequency ablation or oesophagectomy for the management of high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's oesophagus

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Dec;32(11-12):1332-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04450.x. Epub 2010 Sep 13.


Background: In the UK, oesophagectomy is the current recommendation for patients with persistent high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's oesophagus. Radiofrequency ablation is an alternative new technology with promising early trial results.

Aim: To undertake a cost-utility analysis comparing these two strategies.

Methods: We constructed a Markov model to simulate the natural history of a cohort of patients with high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's oesophagus undergoing one of two treatment options: (i) oesophagectomy or (ii) radiofrequency ablation followed by endoscopic surveillance with oesophagectomy for high-grade dysplasia recurrence or persistence.

Results: In the base case analysis, radiofrequency ablation dominated as it generated 0.4 extra quality of life years at a cost saving of £1902. For oesophagectomy to be the most cost-effective option, it required a radiofrequency ablation treatment failure rate (high-grade dysplasia persistence or progression to cancer) of >44%, or an annual risk of high-grade dysplasia recurrence or progression to cancer in the ablated oesophagus of >15% per annum. There was an 85% probability that radiofrequency ablation remained cost-effective at the NICE willingness to pay threshold range of £20 000-30 000.

Conclusion: Radiofrequency ablation is likely to be a cost-effective option for high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's oesophagus in the UK.

MeSH terms

  • Barrett Esophagus / economics
  • Barrett Esophagus / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation / economics*
  • Catheter Ablation / methods
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Esophagectomy / economics*
  • Esophagectomy / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • United Kingdom