Background and Aim. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common cause of death in the United Kingdom,\ud accounting for more than 120,000 deaths in 2001, among the highest rates in the world. This study reports an economic evaluation of single photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (SPECT) for the diagnosis and management of coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods. Strategies involving SPECT with and without stress electrocardiography (ECG) and coronary angiography (CA) were compared to diagnostic strategies not involving SPECT. The diagnosis decision was modelled with a decision tree model and long-term costs and consequences using a Markov model. Data to populate the models were obtained from a series of systematic reviews. Unlike earlier evaluations, a probabilistic analysis was included to assess the statistical imprecision of the results. The results are presented in terms of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). Results. At prevalence levels of CAD of 10.5%, SPECT-based strategies are costeffective; ECG-CA is highly unlikely to be optimal. At a ceiling ratio of _20,000 per QALY, SPECT-CA has a 90% likelihood of being optimal. Beyond this threshold, this strategy becomes less likely to be cost-effective. At more than _75,000 per QALY, coronary angiography is most likely to be optimal. For higher levels of prevalence (around 50%) and more than a _10,000 per QALY threshold, coronary angiography is the optimal decision. Conclusions. SPECTbased strategies are likely to be cost-effective when risk of CAD is modest (10.5%). Sensitivity analyses show these strategies dominated non-SPECT-based strategies for risk of CAD up to 4%. At higher levels of prevalence, invasive strategies may become worthwhile. Finally, sensitivity analyses show stress echocardiography as a potentially costeffective option, and further research to assess the relative cost-effectiveness of echocardiography should also be performed.This article was developed from a Technology Assessment Review conducted on behalf of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and was funded by the Department of Health on a grant administered by the National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment. The Health Economics Research Unit and the Health Services Research Unit are core funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Health Department.Peer reviewedAuthor versio
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