Cost-Effectiveness of a Novel Molecular Test for Cytologically Indeterminate Thyroid Nodules
ABSTRACT Determining which patients with thyroid nodules require surgery is limited by cytologically indeterminate findings. A new approach for preoperative molecular classification of cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules has a reported sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 75%; however, its cost-effectiveness has yet to be assessed.
Our objective was to evaluate the 5-yr cost-effectiveness of routine use of a molecular test in adult patients with indeterminate fine-needle aspiration biopsy results from a societal perspective.
A 16-state Markov decision model was developed. Probabilities, costs, and quality-adjusted life years (QALY) were estimated from literature review, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data, Medicare reimbursement schedules, and expert opinion.
Decision analysis of a hypothetical group of adult patients with cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules was conducted.
Incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated as incremental cost (measured in U.S. dollars) divided by incremental effectiveness (measured in QALY).
Modifying current practice with use of the molecular test resulted in 74% fewer surgeries for benign nodules with no greater number of untreated cancers. Over 5 yr, mean discounted cost estimates were $12,172 for current practice and $10,719 with the molecular test. Current practice and molecular test use produced 4.50 and 4.57 QALY, respectively.
Use of this novel molecular test for differential diagnosis of cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules can potentially avoid almost three fourths of currently performed surgeries in patients with benign nodules. Compared with current practice based on cytological findings alone, use of this test may result in lower overall costs and modestly improved quality of life for patients with indeterminate thyroid nodules.
SourceAvailable from: Graham R WilliamsClinical Endocrinology 07/2014; 81(Suppl1):1-122. DOI:10.1111/cen.12515 · 3.35 Impact Factor
New England Journal of Medicine 01/2012; · 54.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Ultrasound guided fine-needle aspiration (USFNA) biopsy of thyroid nodules often gives a result of indeterminate pathology, placing thyroid specialists in difficult management situations. The aim of this study is to evaluate the incidence of malignancy in patients undergoing surgery and to correlate these results with the McGill Thyroid Nodule Score (MTNS).Methods We performed a retrospective study comparing USFNA results, MTNS and histopathology of patients undergoing thyroid surgery between 2010 and 2012. Pre-operative USFNA results were divided into three subgroups: benign, indeterminate and suspicious for/malignant. The indeterminate USFNA subgroup comprised of Bethesda type III (atypia of undetermined significance) and Bethesda type IV (follicular neoplasms, including Hurthle cell neoplasms) lesions. Post-operative histopathology was divided into benign or malignant groups.ResultsOf the 437 patient charts reviewed, 57.0% had an indeterminate USFNA biopsy. Within the indeterminate group, the malignancy rate was 39.8%. For indeterminate USFNA, the median MTNS was 7 (32% risk of malignancy) for benign nodules and 9 (63% risk of malignancy) for malignant nodules on post-operative histopathology (p¿<¿0.05).Conclusion The rate of malignancy in operated patients with an indeterminate USFNA result was 39.8%. The MTNS can be of value to thyroid specialists in pre-operative decision-making when dealing with an indeterminate result of a thyroid nodule on USFNA.