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Cost-effectiveness of hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements for prophylaxis of variceal re-bleeding



Cost-effectiveness of hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements for prophylaxis of variceal re-bleeding



Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 19(5): 571-581



Background: Measurement of the hepatic venous pressure gradient may identify a sub-optimal response to drug prophylaxis in patients with a history of variceal bleeding. However, the cost-effectiveness of routine hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements to guide secondary prophylaxis has not been examined. Methods: A Markov model was constructed using specialized software (DATA 3.5, Williamstown, MA, USA). Three strategies involved secondary prophylaxis without haemodynamic monitoring using beta-blockers alone, beta-blockers plus isosorbide mononitrate or endoscopic variceal ligation alone. Four strategies involved secondary prophylaxis with beta-blockers plus isosorbide mononitrate or beta-blockers alone, accompanied by one or two hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements to identify haemodynamic non-responders, who underwent endoscopic variceal ligation as an alternative. The total expected costs, variceal bleeding episodes and total deaths were calculated for each strategy over 3 years. Results: The two most effective strategies were combination therapy alone and combination therapy with two hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of the latter strategy was dollar sign136 700 per year of life saved compared with combination therapy alone. The ratio improved as the time horizon was extended or the rates of variceal re-bleeding were increased. Conclusions: The cost-effectiveness of haemodynamic monitoring to guide secondary prophylaxis of recurrent variceal bleeding is highly dependent on local hepatic venous pressure gradient measurement costs, life expectancy and re-bleeding rates.

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Accession: 011907301

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 14987326

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2004.01875.x



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