Impact of maternal obesity on fetal cardiac screening: which follow-up strategy is cost-effective?

G. S. Bak, B. L. Shaffer, E. Madriago, A. Allen, B. Kelly, A. B. Caughey, L. Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To perform a cost-effectiveness analysis of different follow-up strategies for non-obese and obese women who had incomplete fetal cardiac screening for major congenital heart disease (CHD). Methods: Three decision-analytic models, one each for non-obese, obese and Class-III-obese women, were developed to compare five follow-up strategies for initial suboptimal fetal cardiac screening. The five strategies were: (1) no follow-up ultrasound (US) examination but direct referral to fetal echocardiography (FE); (2) one follow-up US, then FE if fetal cardiac views were still suboptimal; (3) up to two follow-up US, then FE if fetal cardiac views were still suboptimal; (4) one follow-up US and no FE; and (5) up to two follow-up US and no FE. The models were designed to identify fetuses with major CHD in a theoretical cohort of 4 000 000 births in the USA. Outcomes related to neonatal mortality and neurodevelopmental disability were evaluated. A cost-effectiveness willingness-to-pay threshold was set at US$100 000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). Base-case and sensitivity analysis and Monte-Carlo simulation were performed. Results: In our base-case models for all body mass index (BMI) groups, no follow-up US, but direct referral to FE led to the best outcomes, detecting 7%, 25% and 82% more fetuses with CHD in non-obese, obese and Class-III-obese women, respectively, compared with the baseline strategy of one follow-up US and no FE. However, no follow-up US, but direct referral to FE was above the US$100 000/QALY threshold and therefore not cost-effective. The cost-effective strategy for all BMI groups was one follow-up US and no FE. Both up to two follow-up US with no FE and up to two follow-up US with FE were dominated (being more costly and less effective), while one follow-up US with FE was over the cost-effectiveness threshold. One follow-up US and no FE was the optimal strategy in 97%, 93% and 86% of trials in Monte-Carlo simulation for non-obese, obese and Class-III-obese models, respectively. Conclusion: For both non-obese and obese women with incomplete fetal cardiac screening, the optimal CHD follow-up screening strategy is no further US and immediate referral to FE; however, this strategy is not cost-effective. Considering costs, one follow-up US and no FE is the preferred strategy. For both obese and non-obese women, Monte-Carlo simulations showed clearly that one follow-up US and no FE was the optimal strategy. Both non-obese and obese women with initial incomplete cardiac screening examination should therefore be offered one follow-up US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-716
Number of pages12
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume56
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Keywords

  • congenital heart disease
  • cost-effectiveness
  • fetal cardiac anomaly
  • fetal echocardiography
  • maternal obesity
  • prenatal screening
  • suboptimal visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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