Incremental cost-effectiveness of dobutamine stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in patients at intermediate risk for coronary artery disease.

Petrov G1, Kelle S, Fleck E, Wellnhofer E.
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology, German Heart Institute Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353, Berlin, Germany.



AIMS: The effectiveness of stress cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) as a gatekeeper for coronary angiography (CA) has been established. Level five HTA studies according to the hierarchical model of diagnostic test evaluation are not available.

METHODS: This cohort study included 1,158 consecutive patients (mean age 63 ± 11 years, 42 % women) presenting at our institution between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2004 with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) for an elective CA. The patients were assessed for eligibility and propensity score matching was applied to address selection bias regarding the patients’ allocation to CMR or direct CA. Median patient follow-up was 7.9 years (95 % CI 7.8-8.0 years). The primary effect was calculated as relative survival difference. The cost unit calculation (per patient) at our institute was the source of costs.

RESULTS: Survival was similar in CMR and CA (p = 0.139). Catheterizations ruling out CAD were significantly reduced by the CMR gate-keeper strategy. Patients with prior CMR had significantly lower costs at the initial hospital stay and at follow-up (CMR vs. CA, initial: 2,904 vs. 3,421, p = 0.018; follow-up: 2,045 vs. 3,318, p = 0.037). CMR was cost-effective in terms of a contribution of 12,466 per life year to cover a part of the CMR costs.

CONCLUSION: Stress CMR prior to CA was saving 12,466 of hospital costs per life year. Lower costs at follow-up suggest sustained cost-effectiveness of the CMR-guided strategy.

PMID: 25395355