Background: To determine the comparative effectiveness and costs of a CT-strategy and a stress-electrocardiography-based strategy (standard-of-care; SOC-strategy) for diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods: A decision analysis was performed based on a well-documented prospective cohort of 471 outpatients with stable chest pain with follow-up combined with best-available evidence from the literature. Outcomes were correct classification of patients as CAD- (no obstructive CAD), CAD+ (obstructive CAD without revascularization) and indication for Revascularization (using a combination reference standard), diagnostic costs, lifetime health care costs, and quality-adjusted life years (QALY). Parameter uncertainty was analyzed using probabilistic sensitivity analysis. Results: For men (and women), diagnostic cost savings were €245 (€252) for the CT-strategy as compared to the SOC-strategy. The CT-strategy classified 82% (88%) of simulated men (women) in the appropriate disease category, whereas 83% (85%) were correctly classified by the SOC-strategy. The long-term cost-effectiveness analysis showed that the SOC-strategy was dominated by the CT-strategy, which was less expensive (- €229 in men, - €444 in women) and more effective (+ 0.002 QALY in men, + 0.005 in women). The CT-strategy was cost-saving (- €231) but also less effective compared to SOC (- 0.003 QALY) in men with a pre-test probability of ≥ 70%. The CT-strategy was cost-effective in 100% of simulations, except for men with a pre-test probability ≥ 70% in which case it was 59%. Conclusions: The results suggest that a CT-based strategy is less expensive and equally effective compared to SOC in all women and in men with a pre-test probability < 70%.
- Chest pain
- Comparative cost-effectiveness
- Coronary CT angiography
- Coronary artery disease
- Stress electrocardiography