Published online May 14, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i18.2227
Revised: January 27, 2010
Accepted: February 4, 2010
Published online: May 14, 2010
AIM: To determine the short-term cost-utility of molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS) treatment in acute liver failure (ALF).
METHODS: A controlled retrospective study was conducted with 90 ALF patients treated with MARS from 2001 to 2005. Comparisons were made with a historical control group of 17 ALF patients treated from 2000 to 2001 in the same intensive care unit (ICU) specializing in liver diseases. The 3-year outcomes and number of liver transplantations were recorded. All direct liver disease-related medical expenses from 6 mo before to 3 years after ICU treatment were determined for 31 MARS patients and 16 control patients. The health-related quality of life (HRQoL) before MARS treatment was estimated by a panel of ICU doctors and after MARS using a mailed 15D (15-dimensional generic health-related quality of life instrument) questionnaire. The HRQoL, cost, and survival data were combined and the incremental cost/quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) was calculated.
RESULTS: In surviving ALF patients, the health-related quality of life after treatmeant was generally high and comparable to the age- and gender-matched general Finnish population. Compared to the controls, the average cost per QALY was considerably lower in the MARS group (64 732€vs 133 858€) within a timeframe of 3.5 years. The incremental cost of standard medical treatment alone compared to MARS was 10 928€, and the incremental number of QALYs gained by MARS was 0.66.
CONCLUSION: MARS treatment combined with standard medical treatment for ALF in an ICU setting is more cost-effective than standard medical treatment alone.