Lifetime costs and outcomes of repair of Tetralogy of Fallot compared to natural progression of the disease: Great Ormond Street Hospital cohort

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59734. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059734. Epub 2013 Mar 22.


Background: Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart disease that requires surgical repair without which survival through childhood is extremely rare. The aim of this paper is to use data from the mandatory follow-up of patients with Tetralogy of Fallot to model the health-related costs and outcomes over the first 55-years of life.

Method: A decision analytical model was developed to establish costs and outcomes for patients up to 55 years after diagnosis and first repair of Tetralogy of Fallot compared to natural progression. Data from Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) centres that follow up Tetralogy of Fallot patients and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), London, United Kingdom (UK) medical records was used to establish the cost and effectiveness of current interventions. Data from a Czech cohort was used for the natural, no intervention condition.

Results: The average cost per patient of a repair for Tetralogy of Fallot was £26,938 (SE = £4,140). The full life time cost per patient, with no discount rate, was £65,310 (95% CI £64,981-£65,729); £56,559 discounted (95% CI £56,159-£56,960). Patients with a repair had an average of 35 Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) per patient over 55 years undiscounted and 20.16 QALYs discounted. If the disorder was left to take its natural course, patients on average had a total of 3 QALYs per patient with no discount rate and 2.30 QALYs discounted.

Conclusion: A model has been developed that provides an estimate of the value for money of an expensive repair of a congenital heart disease. The model could be used to test the cost-effectiveness of making amendments to the care pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / economics*
  • United Kingdom

Grant support

This project was funded by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. DB was supported by a bursary from Leeds University. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.