Cost-effectiveness of bilateral vs. single internal thoracic artery grafts at 10 years

Matthew Little, Alastair M. Gray, Douglas G. Altman, Umberto Benedetto, Marcus Flather, Stephen Gerry, Belinda Lees, Jacqueline Murphy, Mario Gaudino, David P. Taggart, Arterial Revascularization Trial investigators

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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AIMS: Using bilateral internal thoracic arteries (BITAs) for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) has been suggested to improve survival compared to CABG using single internal thoracic arteries (SITAs) for patients with advanced coronary artery disease. We used data from the Arterial Revascularization Trial (ART) to assess long-term cost-effectiveness of BITA grafting compared to SITA grafting from an English health system perspective. METHODS AND RESULTS: Resource use, healthcare costs, and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were assessed across 10 years of follow-up from an intention-to-treat perspective. Missing data were addressed using multiple imputation. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated with uncertainty characterized using non-parametric bootstrapping. Results were extrapolated beyond 10 years using Gompertz functions for survival and linear models for total cost and utility. Total mean costs at 10 years of follow-up were £17 594 in the BITA arm and £16 462 in the SITA arm [mean difference £1133 95% confidence interval (CI) £239 to £2026, P = 0.015]. Total mean QALYs at 10 years were 6.54 in the BITA arm and 6.57 in the SITA arm (adjusted mean difference -0.01 95% CI -0.2 to 0.1, P = 0.883). At 10 years, BITA grafting had a 33% probability of being cost-effective compared to SITA, assuming a cost-effectiveness threshold of £20 000. Lifetime extrapolation increased the probability of BITA being cost-effective to 51%. CONCLUSIONS: BITA grafting has significantly higher costs but similar quality-adjusted survival at 10 years compared to SITA grafting. Extrapolation suggests this could change over lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324–332
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Heart Journal - Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Bypass
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Coronary artery disease surgery
  • Healthcare economics
  • Revascularization

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