Long-term cost-effectiveness of transcatheter versus surgical closure of secundum atrial septal defect in adults

Int J Cardiol. 2014 Mar 1;172(1):109-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.12.144. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


Background: The most common congenital anomaly in adults is secundum, which can be closed using a surgical or transcatheter approach. Despite the growing use of transcatheter ASD closure, few studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of this strategy. We sought to compare the long-term cost effectiveness of transcatheter and surgical closure of secundum in adults.

Methods: A decision-analytic model was used with all clinical outcome parameter estimates obtained from the province-wide Québec Congenital Heart Disease Database. Costs were obtained from a single academic centre (Canadian dollars). A cost-effectiveness analysis using a discrete event Monte Carlo simulation model from the perspective of a single third party payer and multiple sensitivity analyses were performed. Patients were followed for a maximum of 5 years after ASD closure.

Results: Between l998 and 2005, we identified 718 adults (n=335 transcatheter; n=383 surgical) who underwent ASD closure in Quebec. The 5-year cost of surgical closure was $15,304 SD $4581 versus $11,060 SD $5169 for the transcatheter alternative. At 5 years, transcatheter closure was marginally more effective than surgery (4.683 SD 0.379 life-years versus 4.618 SD 0.638 life-years). Probabilistic sensitivity analyses demonstrated that transcatheter ASD closure was a dominant strategy with an 80% probability of cost savings and equal or greater efficacy compared to surgical treatment.

Conclusion: Although definitive conclusions are limited given the observational nature of the primary data sources, transcatheter ASD closure appeared to be a cost-effective strategy associated with slightly improved clinical outcomes and reduced costs compared to surgical closure at 5-years follow-up.

Keywords: Adult congenital heart disease; Atrial septal defect; Cost-effectiveness; Surgery; Transcatheter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiac Catheterization / economics*
  • Coronary Care Units / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Databases, Factual / statistics & numerical data
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / economics*
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Econometric
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Quebec
  • Septal Occluder Device / economics*