Cost-Effectiveness of CT Angiography and Perfusion Imaging for Delayed Cerebral Ischemia and Vasospasm in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

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American Journal of Neuroradiology


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Delayed cerebral ischemia and vasospasm are significant complications following SAH leading to cerebral infarction, functional disability, and death. In recent years, CTA and CTP have been used to increase the detection of delayed cerebral ischemia and vasospasm. Our aim was to perform comparative-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness analyses evaluating CTA and CTP for delayed cerebral ischemia and vasospasm in aneurysmal SAH from a health care payer perspective.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We developed a decision model comparing CTA and CTP with transcranial Doppler sonography for detection of vasospasm and delayed cerebral ischemia in SAH. The clinical pathways were based on the “Guidelines for the Management of Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Guideline for Healthcare Professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association” (2012). Outcome health states represented mortality and morbidity according to functional outcomes. Input probabilities of symptoms and serial test results from CTA and CTP, transcranial Doppler ultrasound, and digital subtraction angiography were directly derived from an SAH cohort by using a multinomial logistic regression model. Expected benefits, measured as quality-adjusted life years, and costs, measured in 2012 US dollars, were calculated for each imaging strategy. Univariable, multivariable, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to determine the independent and combined effect of input parameter uncertainty.

RESULTS: The transcranial Doppler ultrasound strategy yielded 13.62 quality-adjusted life years at a cost of $154,719. The CTA and CTP strategy generated 13.89 quality-adjusted life years at a cost of $147,097, resulting in a gain of 0.27 quality-adjusted life years and cost savings of $7622 over the transcranial Doppler ultrasound strategy. Univariable and multivariable sensitivity analyses indicated that results were robust to plausible input parameter uncertainty. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis results yielded 96.8% of iterations in the right lower quadrant, representing higher benefits and lower costs.

CONCLUSIONS: Our model results suggest that CTA and CTP are the preferred imaging strategy in SAH, compared with transcranial Doppler ultrasound, leading to improved clinical outcomes and lower health care costs.


This work was funded by grant 5K23NS058387 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a component of the National Institutes of Health.