Cost-effectiveness of imaging strategies to reduce radiation-induced cancer risk in Crohn's disease

Lauren E. Cipriano, Barrett G. Levesque, Gregory S. Zaric, Edward V. Loftus, William J. Sandborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: The aim was to examine the cost-effectiveness of magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) compared with computed tomography enterography (CTE) for routine imaging of small bowel Crohn's disease (CD) patients to reduce patients' life-time radiation-induced cancer risk. Methods: We developed a Markov model to compare the lifetime costs, benefits (measured in quality-adjusted life-years [QALYs] of survival and cancers averted) and cost-effectiveness of using MRE rather than CTE for routine disease monitoring in hypothetical cohorts of 100,000 20- year-old patients with CD. We assumed each CT radiation exposure conferred an incremental annual risk of developing cancer using the linear, no-threshold model. Results: In the base case of 16 mSv per CTE, we estimated that radiation from CTE resulted in 1,206 to 20,146 additional cancers depending on the frequency of patient monitoring. Compared to using CTE only, using MRE until age 30 and CTE thereafter resulted in incremental costeffectiveness ratios (ICERs) between $37,538 and $41,031 per life-year (LY) gained and between $52,969 and $57,772 per quality-adjusted lifeyear (QALY) gained. Using MRE until age 50 resulted in ICERs between $58,022 and $62,648 per LY gained and between $84,250 and $90,982 per QALY gained. In a threshold analysis, any use of MRE had an ICER of greater than $100,000 per QALY gained when CT radiation doses are less than 6.0 mSv per CTE exam. Conclusions: MRE is likely cost-effective compared to CTE in patients younger than age 50. Low-dose CTE may be an alternative cost-effective choice in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1248
Number of pages9
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • Computed tomography enterography
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Linear no-threshold model
  • Magnetic resonance enterography
  • Radiation
  • Radiation-induced cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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