Model-based cost-effectiveness analysis of B-type natriuretic peptide-guided care in patients with heart failure

Syed Mohiuddin, Barnaby Reeves, Maria Pufulete, Rachel Maishman, Mark Dayer, John Macleod, Theresa McDonagh, Sarah Purdy, Chris Rogers, William Hollingworth

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Objective Monitoring B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) to guide pharmacotherapy might improve survival in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) or preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). However, the cost-effectiveness of BNP-guided care is uncertain and guidelines do not uniformly recommend it. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of BNP-guided care in patient subgroups defined by age and ejection fraction.

Methods We used a Markov model with a 3-month cycle length to estimate the lifetime health service costs, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and incremental net monetary benefits (iNMBs) of BNP-guided versus clinically guided care in 3 patient subgroups: (1) HFrEF patients <75 years; (2) HFpEF patients <75 years; and (3) HFrEF patients ≥75 years. There is no evidence of benefit in patients with HFpEF aged ≥75 years. We used individual patient data meta-analyses and linked primary care, hospital and mortality data to inform the key model parameters. We performed probabilistic analysis to assess the uncertainty in model results.

Results In younger patients (<75 years) with HFrEF, the mean QALYs (5.57 vs 5.02) and costs (£63 527 vs £58 139) were higher with BNP-guided care. At the willingness-to-pay threshold of £20 000 per QALY, the positive iNMB (£5424 (95% CI £987 to £9469)) indicates that BNP-guided care is cost-effective in this subgroup. The evidence of cost-effectiveness of BNP-guided care is less strong for younger patients with HFpEF (£3155 (−£10 307 to £11 613)) and older patients (≥75 years) with HFrEF (£2267 (−£1524 to £6074)). BNP-guided care remained cost-effective in the sensitivity analyses, albeit the results were sensitive to assumptions on its sustained effect.

Conclusions We found strong evidence that BNP-guided care is a cost-effective alternative to clinically guided care in younger patients with HFrEF. It is potentially cost-effective in younger patients with HFpEF and older patients with HFrEF, but more evidence is required, particularly with respect to the frequency, duration and BNP target for monitoring. Cost-effectiveness results from trials in specialist settings cannot be generalised to primary care.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere014010
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Early online date28 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Structured keywords

  • BTC (Bristol Trials Centre)
  • Centre for Surgical Research


  • Heart failure
  • B-type natriuretic peptide
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Markov model
  • Survival analysis


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