Aims It remains unclear whether primary prophylactic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy is cost-effective compared with a 'no ICD strategy' in the European health care setting. We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis for a cohort of patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction <40% and ischaemic or non-ischaemic heart disease.Methods and resultsA Markov decision analytic model was used to evaluate long-term survival, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and lifetime costs for a cohort of patients with a reduced left ventricular function without previous arrhythmias, managed with a prophylactic ICD. Input data on effectiveness were derived from a meta-analysis of primary prophylactic ICD-only therapy randomized trials, from a prospective cohort study of ICD patients, from a health care utilization survey, and from the literature. Input data on costs were derived from a micro-cost analysis. Data on quality-of-life were derived from the literature. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the uncertainty. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis demonstrated a mean lifetime cost of €50 685 ± €4604 and 6.26 ± 0.64 QALYs for patients in the 'no ICD strategy'. Patients in the 'ICD strategy' accumulated €86 759 ± €3343 and an effectiveness of 7.08 ± 0.71 QALYs yielding an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €43 993/QALY gained compared with the 'no ICD strategy'. The probability that ICD therapy is cost-effective was 65% at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €80 000/QALY.ConclusionOur results suggest that primary prophylactic ICD therapy in patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction <40% and ischaemic or non-ischaemic heart disease is cost-effective in the European setting.

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European Heart Journal
Department of Cardiology

Smith, T., Jordaens, L., Theuns, D., van Pascal, P. F. H. M., Wilde, A., & Hunink, M. (2013). The cost-effectiveness of primary prophylactic implantable defibrillator therapy in patients with ischaemic or non-ischaemic heart disease: A European analysis. European Heart Journal, 34(3), 211–219. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehs090