Cost-effectiveness of routine (18)F-FDG PET/CT in high-risk patients with gram-positive bacteremia

F. Vos, C. Bleeker-Rovers, B. Kullberg, E. Adang and W. Oyen

Department of Internal Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Nov, 2011



Gram-positive bacteremia has a high morbidity and mortality rate of approximately 30\%. Delayed diagnosis of clinically silent metastatic infectious foci is an important indicator for a complicated outcome. (18)F-FDG PET/CT allows detection of focal infection, resulting in lower relapse rates and mortality. Here, we present a cost-effectiveness analysis associated with introduction of (18)F-FDG PET/CT for patients with gram-positive bacteremia.A cost-effectiveness analysis in a prospective (18)F-FDG PET/CT group (n = 115) and matched control group (n = 230) was performed alongside a clinical study, the results of which were previously published. Mortality at 6 mo was considered the final effect outcome and was used in the denominator of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio.Mortality in the (18)F-FDG PET/CT group was 19\%, compared with 32\% in the control group (P < 0.01). Incremental costs of (18)F-FDG PET/CT were $9,454 (95\% confidence interval [CI], $3,963-$14,947), mainly because of admission (mean, $6,631; 95\% CI, $1,449-$11,814). Additional costs were related to echocardiography (P < 0.01), not to (18)F-FDG PET/CT (P = 0.8). The mean incremental costs of the (18)F-FDG PET/CT strategy estimated by stratification for endocarditis were $5,277 per patient (95\% CI, $429-$10,123; P = 0.03). The point estimate of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is $72,487 per prevented death (95\% CI, $11,388-$323,379).Introduction of a diagnostic regimen including routine (18)F-FDG PET/CT decreases morbidity and mortality. The cost increase is due to in-hospital treatment of metastatic infectious foci. Costs per prevented death, $72,487, are within the range that is considered to be efficient by Dutch guidelines. Patients with high-risk gram-positive bacteremia therefore should have easy access to (18)F-FDG PET/CT to enable early detection of metastatic infectious disease.