Objective: To evaluate the cost-utility of catheterization-obligate treatment in preterm infants with pulmonary hypertension, as compared with empiric initiation of sildenafil based on echocardiographic findings alone. Study design: A Markov state transition model was constructed to simulate the clinical scenario of a preterm infant with echocardiographic evidence of pulmonary hypertension associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and without congenital heart disease under consideration for the initiation of pulmonary vasodilator therapy via one of two modeled treatment strategies—empiric or catheterization-obligate. Transitional probabilities, costs and utilities were extracted from the literature. Forecast quality-adjusted life-years was the metric for strategy effectiveness. Sensitivity analyses for each variable were performed. A 1000-patient Monte Carlo microsimulation was used to test the durability of our findings. Results: The catheterization-obligate strategy resulted in an increased cost of $10 778 and 0.02 fewer quality-adjusted life-years compared with the empiric treatment strategy. Empiric treatment remained the more cost-effective paradigm across all scenarios modeled through one-way sensitivity analyses and the Monte Carlo microsimulation (cost-effective in 98% of cases). Conclusions: Empiric treatment with sildenafil in infants with pulmonary hypertension associated with BPD is a superior strategy with both decreased costs and increased effectiveness when compared with catheterization-obligate treatment. These findings suggest that foregoing catheterization before the initiation of sildenafil is a reasonable strategy in preterm infants with uncomplicated pulmonary hypertension associated with BPD.
- cost effectiveness
- pulmonary hypertension
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health