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Cardiovascular magnetic resonance in emergency patients with multivessel disease or unobstructed coronary arteries: a cost-effectiveness analysis in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere025700
Number of pages13
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
DateAccepted/In press - 8 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 11 Jul 2019


OBJECTIVE: To identify the key drivers of cost-effectiveness for cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) when patients activate the primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) pathway.

DESIGN: Economic decision models for two patient subgroups populated from secondary sources, each with a 1 year time horizon from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS) and personal social services in the UK.

SETTING: Usual care (with or without CMR) in the NHS.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients who activated the PPCI pathway, and for Model 1: underwent an emergency coronary angiogram and PPCI, and were found to have multivessel coronary artery disease. For Model 2: underwent an emergency coronary angiogram and were found to have unobstructed coronary arteries.

INTERVENTIONS: Model 1 (multivessel disease) compared two different ischaemia testing methods, CMR or fractional flow reserve (FFR), versus stress echocardiography. Model 2 (unobstructed arteries) compared CMR with standard echocardiography versus standard echocardiography alone.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Key drivers of cost-effectiveness for CMR, incremental costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.

RESULTS: In both models, the incremental costs and QALYs between CMR (or FFR, Model 1) versus no CMR (stress echocardiography, Model 1 and standard echocardiography, Model 2) were small (CMR: -£64 (95% CI -£232 to £187)/FFR: £360 (95% CI -£116 to £844) and CMR/FFR: 0.0012 QALYs (95% CI -0.0076 to 0.0093)) and (£98 (95% CI -£199 to £488) and 0.0005 QALYs (95% CI -0.0050 to 0.0077)), respectively. The diagnostic accuracy of the tests was the key driver of cost-effectiveness for both patient groups.

CONCLUSIONS: If CMR were introduced for all subgroups of patients who activate the PPCI pathway, it is likely that diagnostic accuracy would be a key determinant of its cost-effectiveness. Further research is needed to definitively answer whether revascularisation guided by CMR or FFR leads to different clinical outcomes in acute coronary syndrome patients with multivessel disease.

Additional information

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

    Research areas

  • cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular magnetic resonance, cost-utility analysis, diagnostic accuracy, economic evaluation, myocardial infarction

    Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research

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