Background: To review and describe the available literature on cost-utility analysis of revascularization and non-revascularization treatment approaches in chronic limb-threatening ischemia.
Methods: A systematic review was performed on cost-utility analysis studies evaluating revascularization (open surgery or endovascular), major lower extremity amputation, or conservative management in adult chronic limb-threatening ischemia patients. Six bibliographic databases and online registries were searched for English language articles up to August 2021. The outcome for cost-utility analysis was quality-adjusted in life years. Procedures were compared using incremental cost-effectiveness ratios which were converted to 2021 United States dollars. Study reporting quality was assessed using the 2022 Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards statement. The study was registered in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42021273602).
Results: Three trial-based and five model-based studies were included for review. Studies met between 14/28 and 20/28 criteria of the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards CHEERS statement. Only one study was written according to standardized reporting guidelines. Most studies evaluated infrainguinal disease, and adopted a health care provider perspective. There was a large variation in the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios presented across studies. Open surgical revascularization (incremental cost-effectiveness ratios: $3,678, $58,828, and $72,937), endovascular revascularization (incremental cost-effectiveness ratios: $52,036, $125,329, and $149,123), and mixed open or endovascular revascularization (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio: $8,094) maybe more cost-effective than conservative management.
Conclusions: The application of cost-utility analyses in chronic limb-threatening ischemia is in its infancy. Revascularization in infrainguinal disease may be favored over major lower extremity amputation or conservative management. However, data is inadequate to support recommendations for a specific treatment. This review identifies short and long-term considerations to address the current state of evidence. Cost-utility analysis is an important tool in healthcare policy and should be encouraged amongst the vascular surgical community.
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