5 years ago

Cost-effectiveness of intraoperative nerve monitoring in avoidance of bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve injury in patients undergoing total thyroidectomy

Z. Al-Qurayshi, G. W. Randolph, E. Kandil
Background Intraoperative nerve monitoring (IONM) provides dynamic neural information and is recommended for high-risk thyroid surgery. In this analysis, the cost-effectiveness of IONM in preventing bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury was investigated. Methods A Markov chain model was constructed based on IONM use. The base-case patient was defined as a 40-year-old woman presenting with a 4·1-cm left-sided papillary thyroid cancer who developed RLN injury with loss of monitoring signal during planned bilateral thyroidectomy. It was hypothesized that, if the surgeon had used IONM, the RLN injury would have been detected and the operation would have been concluded as a thyroid lobectomy to avoid the risk of contralateral RLN injury. Cost in US dollars was converted to euros; probabilities and utility scores were identified from the literature and government resources. Length of follow-up was set as 20 years, and willingness-to-pay (WTP) as €38 000 (US $50 000) per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Results At the end of year 20, the not using IONM strategy accrued €163 995·40 (US $215 783·43) and an effectiveness of 14·15 QALYs, whereas use of the IONM strategy accrued €170 283·68 (US $224 057·48) and an effectiveness of 14·33 QALYs. The incremental cost–effectiveness ratio, comparing use versus no use of IONM, was €35 285·26 (US $46 427·97) per QALY, which is below the proposed WTP, indicating that IONM is the preferred and cost-effective management plan. A Monte Carlo simulation test that considered variability of the main study factors in a hypothetical sample of 10 000 patients showed IONM to be the preferred strategy in 85·8 per cent of the population. Conclusion Use of IONM is cost-effective in patients undergoing bilateral thyroid surgery.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/bjs.10582

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