Comparative Survival and Cost-Effectiveness of Advanced Therapies for End-Stage Heart FailureCLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
Background—Treatment options for end-stage heart failure include inotrope-dependent medical therapy, orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT), left ventricular assist device (LVAD) as destination therapy or bridge to transplant.
Methods and Results—We developed a state-transition model to simulate 4 treatment options and associated morbidity and mortality. Transition probabilities, costs, and utilities were estimated from published sources. Calculated outcomes included survival, quality-adjusted life-years, and incremental cost-effectiveness. Sensitivity analyses were performed on model parameters to test robustness. Average life expectancy for OHT-eligible patients is estimated at 1.1 years, with 39% surviving to 1 year. OHT with a median wait time of 5.6 months is estimated to increase life expectancy to 8.5 years, and costs <$100 000/quality-adjusted life-year gained, relative to inotrope-dependent medical therapy. Bridge to transplant-LVAD followed by OHT further is estimated to increase life expectancy to 12.3 years, for $226 000/quality-adjusted life-year gained versus OHT. Among OHT-ineligible patients, mean life expectancy with inotrope-dependent medical therapy is estimated at 9.4 months, with 26% surviving to 1 year. Patients who instead received destination therapy-LVAD are estimated to live 4.4 years on average from extrapolation of recent constant hazard rates beyond the first year. This strategy costs $202 000/quality-adjusted life-year gained, relative to inotrope-dependent medical therapy. Patient’s age, time on wait list, and costs associated with care influence outcomes.
Conclusions—Under most scenarios, OHT prolongs life and is cost effective in eligible patients. Bridge to transplant-LVAD is estimated to offer >3.8 additional life-years for patients waiting ≥6 months, but does not meet conventional cost-effectiveness thresholds. Destination therapy-LVAD significantly improves life expectancy in OHT-ineligible patients. However, further reductions in adverse events or improved quality of life are needed for destination therapy-LVAD to be cost effective.
- Received July 9, 2013.
- Accepted February 14, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.