Understanding Cost-Effectiveness Analyses: An Explanation Using Three Different Analyses of Lung Cancer Screening

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Aug;205(2):344-7. doi: 10.2214/AJR.14.14038.


Objective: Cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) contribute to informed decision making, at both the practitioner and societal levels; therefore, understanding CEAs is valuable for radiologists. In light of the recently published National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) CEA, we aim to explain the terminology, methods, and heterogeneity of CEAs.

Conclusion: We compared the NLST results to two example lung cancer screening CEAs (which do not rely on NLST data). Both examples assessed screening but reached substantially different conclusions.

Keywords: cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs); low-dose chest CT; lung cancer screening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mass Screening / economics*
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / economics*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*