A systematic review of lower extremity arterial revascularization economic analyses
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OBJECTIVE: Economic evaluation remains an understudied aspect of lower extremity vascular reconstructions. This study reviewed the economic-based literature with respect to open and endovascular treatment of peripheral arterial disease. METHODS: This systematic review included economic analyses of open and endovascular treatment of lower extremity peripheral arterial disease, including claudication and critical limb ischemia. Studies were categorized as model-based, cost-consequences, or econometric cost-analyses. Clinical, financial, and time-based outcomes were examined. RESULTS: From a candidate list of 1351 studies, 19 were appropriate for the review, comprising 3 model-based, 12 cost-consequence, and 4 cost-analyses. Because of the small numbers, claudication and critical limb ischemia studies were analyzed together. There was a trend favoring initial cost-savings with endovascular therapy. Whether this benefit is sustained over time is unknown. We were prevented from drawing cost-efficacy inferences because of a noted lack of standardized patient-centric outcomes, longitudinal data, and reintervention data. CONCLUSIONS: The existing lower extremity arterial revascularization economic literature is inadequate for drawing cost-efficacy conclusions and cannot inform guidelines for open vs endovascular treatment. Overcoming this limitation will require the inclusion of cost (initial and reintervention) and patient-centric outcomes in future studies evaluating lower extremity revascularization technologies. All journals, particularly vascular journals, should enforce standard reporting guidelines of effectiveness and economic studies to enable appropriate comparative and cost-effectiveness analyses.
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