Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Anatomic vs Functional Index Testing in Patients With Low-Risk Stable Chest Pain

Júlia Karády, Thomas Mayrhofer, Alexander Ivanov, Borek Foldyna, Michael T. Lu, Maros Ferencik, Amit Pursnani, Michael Salerno, James E. Udelson, Daniel B. Mark, Pamela S. Douglas, Udo Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Importance: Both noninvasive anatomic and functional testing strategies are now routinely used as initial workup in patients with low-risk stable chest pain (SCP). Objective: To determine whether anatomic approaches (ie, coronary computed tomography angiography [CTA] and coronary CTA supplemented with noninvasive fractional flow reserve [FFRCT], performed in patients with 30% to 69% stenosis) are cost-effective compared with functional testing for the assessment of low-risk SCP. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cost-effectiveness analysis used an individual-based Markov microsimulation model for low-risk SCP. The model was developed using patient data from the Prospective Multicenter Imaging Study for Evaluation of Chest Pain (PROMISE) trial. The model was validated by comparing model outcomes with outcomes observed in the PROMISE trial for anatomic (coronary CTA) and functional (stress testing) strategies, including diagnostic test results, referral to invasive coronary angiography (ICA), coronary revascularization, incident major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE), and costs during 60 days and 2 years. The validated model was used to determine whether anatomic approaches are cost-effective over a lifetime compared with functional testing. Exposure: Choice of index test for evaluation of low-risk SCP. Main Outcomes and Measures: Downstream ICA and coronary revascularization, MACE (death, nonfatal myocardial infarction), cost, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of competing strategies. Results: The model cohort included 10003 individual patients (median [interquartile range] age, 60.0 [54.4-65.9] years; 5270 [52.7%] women; 7693 [77.4%] White individuals), who entered the model 100 times. The Markov model accurately estimated the test assignment, results of anatomic and functional index testing, referral to ICA, revascularization, MACE, and costs at 60 days and 2 years compared with observed data in PROMISE (eg, coronary CTA: ICA, 12.2% [95% CI, 10.9%-13.5%] vs 12.3% [95% CI, 12.2%-12.4%]; revascularization, 6.2% [95% CI, 5.5%-6.9%] vs 6.4% [95% CI, 6.3%-6.5%]; functional strategy: ICA, 8.1% [95% CI, 7.4%-8.9%] vs 8.2% [95% CI, 8.1%-8.3%]; revascularization, 3.2% [95% CI, 2.7%-3.7%] vs 3.3% [95% CI, 3.2%-3.4%]; 2-year MACE rates: coronary CTA, 2.1% [95% CI, 1.7%-2.5%] vs 2.3% [95% CI, 2.2%-2.4%]; functional strategy, 2.2% [95% CI, 1.8%-2.6%] vs 2.4% [95% CI, 2.3%-2.4%]). Anatomic approaches led to higher ICA and revascularization rates at 60 days, 2 years, and 5 years compared with functional testing but were more effective in patient selection for ICA (eg, 60-day revascularization-to-ICA ratio, CTA: 53.7% [95% CI, 53.3%-54.0%]; CTA with FFRCT: 59.5% [95% CI, 59.2%-59.8%]; functional testing: 40.7% [95% CI, 40.4%-50.0%]). Over a lifetime, anatomic approaches gained an additional 6 months in perfect health compared with functional testing (CTA, 25.16 [95% CI, 25.14-25.19] QALYs; CTA with FFRCT, 25.14 [95% CI, 25.12-25.17] QALYs; functional testing, 24.68 [95% CI, 24.66-24.70] QALYs). Anatomic strategies were less costly and more effective; thus, CTA with FFRCT dominated and CTA alone was cost-effective (ICERs ranged from $1912/QALY for women and $3,559/QALY for men) compared with functional testing. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, anatomic approaches were cost-effective in more than 65% of scenarios, assuming a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100000/QALY. Conclusions and Relevance: The results of this study suggest that anatomic strategies may present a more favorable initial diagnostic option in the evaluation of low-risk SCP compared with functional testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2028312
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 14 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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