An economic analysis of preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy by polar body biopsy in advanced maternal age

BJOG. 2020 May;127(6):710-718. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.16089. Epub 2020 Feb 4.


Objective: What are the cost per live birth and the incremental cost of preventing a miscarriage with preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) by polar body biopsy and array-based comprehensive genome hybridisation (aCGH) versus regular IVF/ICSI without PGT-A for infertility treatment in women 36-40 years of age?

Design: Decision tree model.

Population: A randomised clinical trial on PGT-A (ESTEEM study).

Methods: Two treatment strategies were compared: one cycle of IVF/ICSI with or without PGT-A. Costs and effects were analysed with this model for four different cost scenarios: high-, higher medium, lower medium and low-cost. Base case, sensitivity, threshold, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were used to examine the cost-effectiveness implications of PGT-A.

Results: PGT-A increased the cost per live birth by approximately 15% in the high-cost scenario to approximately 285% in the low-cost scenario. Threshold analysis revealed that PGT-A would need to be associated with an absolute increase in pregnancy rate by 6% to >39% or, alternatively, would need to be US$2,969 (high-cost scenario) to US$4,888 (low-cost scenario) cheaper. The incremental cost to prevent one miscarriage by PGT-A using the base case assumptions was calculated to be US$34,427 (high-cost scenario) to US$51,146 (low-cost scenario). A probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed cost-effectiveness for PGT-A from 1.9% (high-cost scenario) to 0.0% (low-cost scenario) of calculated samples.

Conclusions: While avoiding unnecessary embryo transfers and miscarriages are important goals, patients and doctors need to be aware of the high-cost implications of applying PGT-A using aCGH on polar bodies.

Tweetable abstract: PGT-A by polar body biopsy and comprehensive genome hybridisation increases cost per live birth and requires high financial spending per miscarriage averted.

Keywords: Aneuploidy; ESTEEM trial; array CGH; cost-effectiveness; polar body biopsy; preimplantation genetic testing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / genetics*
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / prevention & control
  • Adult
  • Aneuploidy*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing / economics*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age*
  • Polar Bodies / transplantation
  • Pregnancy
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis / economics*