AbstractOBJECTIVETo assess the cost-effectiveness ratio of nimodipine administration after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and surgery.METHODSOne hundred twenty-seven patients of both sexes who had a ruptured aneurysm (verified using angiography), who presented with Hunt and Hess Grades I to III on admission, who underwent an operation within the first week after SAH, and who had participated in a randomized prospective clinical trial of nimodipine medication were enrolled in the study. The efficiency (cost-effectiveness) of nimodipine treatment was evaluated by incremental cost-effectiveness analysis. The cost-effectiveness ratio was evaluated for two groups: patients treated with nimodipine and patients given placebo. The cost was estimated as direct hospitalization costs, and the patient outcome was measured as life years gained.RESULTSThe incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for nimodipine treatment was $223 per life year gained on the basis of 1996 monetary values and contemporary management of SAH. Patients in the nimodipine group had an average of 3.46 years longer life expectancy (incremental effectiveness) than those in the placebo group. There was a significant difference in 3-month follow-up mortality and a slight difference in sickness pensions during the 10 years after SAH. Nimodipine treatment was associated with a significant decrease in mortality. There were no statistically significant differences between the treatment groups in the length of hospital stay. There were no statistically significant differences between the treatment groups in sickness pensions.CONCLUSIONNimodipine is cost-effective. Therefore, its use in the management of patients with SAH seems economically justified because it increases patient life years at very low incremental cost.
Neurosurgery – Oxford University Press
Published: Oct 1, 1999
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