A scoping review of the rationale and evidence for cost-effectiveness analysis of fenestrated-branched endovascular repair for intact complex aortic aneurysms

Mario D'Oria, Anders Wanhainen, Randall R. DeMartino, Gustavo S. Oderich, Sandro Lepidi, Kevin Mani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Cost-effectiveness analysis of new interventions is increasingly required by policymakers. For intact complex aortic aneurysms (CAAs), fenestrated-branched endovascular aneurysm repair (F/B-EVAR) offers a minimally invasive alternative option for patients who are physically ineligible for open surgical repair (OSR). Thus, F/B-EVAR is increasingly used, but whether it represents a cost-effective treatment option remains unknown. Methods: A scoping review of the literature was conducted from the PubMed, Ovid Embase, and Scopus databases. They were searched to identify relevant English-language articles published from inception to December 31, 2019. All costs in the identified literature were transformed to U.S. dollar values by the following exchange rate: 1 GBP = 1.3 USD; 1 EUR = 1.1 USD. Results: At this literature search, no randomized clinical trials assessing cost-effectiveness of F/B-EVAR vs OSR for intact CAAs were found. Also, no health economic evaluation studies were found regarding use of F/B-EVAR in patients unfit for OSR. A Markov model analysis based on seven observational center- or registry-based studies published from 2006 to 2014 found that the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for F/B-EVAR vs OSR was $96,954/quality-adjusted life-year. In the multicenter French Medical and Economical Evaluation of Fenestrated and Branched Stent-grafts to Treat Complex Aortic Aneurysms (WINDOW) registry (2010-2012), F/B-EVAR had a higher cost than OSR for a similar clinical outcome and was therefore economically dominated. At 2 years, costs were higher with F/B-EVAR for juxtarenal/pararenal aneurysms and infradiaphragmatic thoracoabdominal aneurysms but similar for supradiaphragmatic thoracoabdominal aneurysms. The higher costs were related to a $24,278 cost difference of the initial admission (95% of the difference at 2 years) due to stent graft costs. Both these studies, however, included a highly varying center experience with complex endovascular aortic repair, and their retrospective design is subject to selection bias for chosen treatment, which could affect the studied outcome. In contrast, in a more recent U.S. database analysis (879 thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repairs, 45% OSRs), the unadjusted total hospitalization cost of OSR was significantly higher compared with F/B-EVAR (median, $44,355 vs $36,612; P =.004). In-hospital mortality as well as major complications were two to three times higher after OSR, indicating that endovascular repair might be the economically dominant strategy. Conclusions: The literature regarding cost-effectiveness analysis of F/B-EVAR for intact CAAs is scarce and ambiguous. Based on the limited nonrandomized available evidence, stent grafts are the main driver for F/B-EVAR expenses, whereas cost-effectiveness in relation to OSR may vary by health care setting and selection of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1772-1782
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Fenestrated-branched endovascular repair
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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