A cost-utility analysis of laser-assisted angioplasty for peripheral arterial occlusions

Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 1996 Winter;12(1):104-25. doi: 10.1017/s0266462300009430.


Despite the perception of many people that lasers represent the cutting edge of high-technology medicine, this form of medical technology has been subject to relatively little rigorous evaluation. This dearth of research relates particularly to economic evaluation, where there have been few attempts to justify the high cost of laser equipment. This paper details an economic evaluation of the use of laser technology as a secondary adjunct to angioplasty to treat peripheral arterial occlusions. Using data from a range of sources, including a published randomized trial, a cost-utility model is developed to estimate the costs and benefits of the laser, relative to standard angioplasty. The best available data indicate a cost-effective role for the laser, but important areas of uncertainty exist, including the laser's secondary recanalization rate, which has been estimated on the basis of limited numbers of patients. This uncertainty suggests that further research is required before widespread diffusion of the laser for use in this clinical context.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Laser-Assisted / economics*
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / surgery*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Trees
  • Humans
  • Markov Chains
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / economics*
  • United Kingdom