Cost Analysis of Percutaneous Pulmonary Valve Replacement

      Percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation is currently being used to treat right ventricular outflow tract obstruction or insufficiency in congenital heart disease. Presumably this alternative to surgical conduit replacement may result in cost savings owing to shorter hospital stays; however, a formal cost comparison has not been undertaken. Total hospital costs of percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation were compared to costs of surgical conduit replacement. Midterm cost-savings analysis was then modeled over 5 years using initial costs and reintervention rates. Need for surgical or transcatheter reintervention was derived from published data (5-year freedom from reintervention was assumed to be 53% for percutaneous pulmonary valves and 90% for surgical conduits). Cost of Melody valve and delivery device ($30,500) was higher than the conduit cost ($8,700), but total procedural costs were nearly identical at just less $50,000 for each procedure. When considering the increased need for reintervention in patients with Melody valves, surgical conduit revision results in moderate cost savings at 5 years after the initial procedure ($19,928 per patient). In conclusion, Melody valve implantation compares reasonably well to surgical conduit revision despite the added midterm costs, but ongoing analysis including the impact of nonsurgical options on quality-of-life measurements and improvement of reintervention rates for percutaneously placed valves needs to be considered.
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