MR-guided ultrasound surgery of uterine fibroids is cost-effective

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health), Apr 21 - Surgical management of symptomatic uterine fibroids can be accomplished cost-effectively with magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS), Canadian and British investigators report in the March issue of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. John A. Cairns of the London (U.K.) School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and colleagues conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis using data from three clinical trials involving 342 women who were evaluated for surgery of symptomatic uterine fibroids.

The investigators assessed health-related quality of life using questionnaires and estimated costs from the perspective of the National Health Service.

In their model, the base case starts at age 39 and continues through age 56. The investigators assumed "no clinical or cost differences between treatments after menopause."

"The base-case results imply a cost saving and a small quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gain per woman," with a treatment strategy that starts with MRgFUS, Dr. Cairns and colleagues write.

"The cost per QALY gained is sensitive to cost of MRgFUS relative to other treatments, the age of the woman and the nonperfused volume relative to the total fibroids volume," the investigators add.

In an accompanying editorial, Drs. I.T. Manyonda and M. Gorti of St. George's Hospital, London point out that while MRgFUS "has already claimed a place in the armamentarium of treatment options for symptomatic fibroids," the cost of the equipment will limit its availability for years to come.

BJOG 2008;115:551-553,653-662.

Last Updated: 2008-04-18 10:45:11 -0400 (Reuters Health)

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