The NORwegian study on DIstrict treatment of ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction showed an improved clinical outcome with early transfer for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) compared to a more conservative approach after thrombolysis. The aim of this substudy was to compare the 12-month quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and costs of these alternative strategies.
Methods: Patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction <6 h duration and >90 min expected delay to PCI, received full-dose tenecteplase and were randomized to either early or late invasive strategy (n = 266). Detailed quality of life and resource use data were registered prospectively for a period of 12 months. Health outcomes were measured as quality of life using a generic instrument (15D). Quality of life scores were translated into QALYs. Unit costs were based on hospital accounts, fee schedules, and market prices.
Results: After 12 months of follow-up, patients in the early invasive group had 0.008 (95% CI -0.027 to 0.043) more QALYs compared to the late invasive group. The mean total costs were €18,201 in the early versus €17,643 in the late invasive group, with a mean difference of €558 (95% CI -2258 to 3484). Cost/QALY was €69,750 while cost/avoided clinical endpoint was €5636.
Conclusion: Early and late invasive strategies after thrombolysis resulted in similar quality of life and similar costs in ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients living far from a PCI centre (NCT00161005).