Cost-effectiveness in diagnosis of stable angina patients: a decision-analytical modelling approach

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OBJECTIVE: Given recent data on published diagnostic accuracies, this study sought to determine the most cost-effective diagnostic strategy for detection of significant coronary artery disease (CAD) in stable angina patients using invasive coronary angiography (ICA) and fractional flow reserve (FFR) as the reference standard.

METHODS: A probabilistic decision-analytical model was developed which modelled a cohort of patients with stable angina. We investigated 17 diagnostic strategies between standalone and combination of different imaging tests to establish a correct diagnosis of CAD, using no testing as the baseline reference. These tests included CT coronary angiography (CTCA), stress echocardiography, CT-based FFR, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), positron emission tomography, ICA, and ICA with FFR. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated as the additional cost per correct diagnosis.

RESULTS: SPECT followed by CTCA and ICA-FFR is the most cost-effective strategy between a cost-effectiveness threshold (CET) value of £1000-£3000 per correct diagnosis. CMR followed by CTCA and ICA-FFR is cost-effective within a CET range of £3000-£17 000 per correct diagnosis. CMR and ICA-FFR is cost-effective within a CET range of £17 000-£24 000. ICA-FFR as first line is the most-cost effective if the CET value exceeds the £24 000 per correct diagnosis. Sensitivity analysis showed that direct ICA-FFR may be cost-effective in patients with a high pre-test probability of CAD.

CONCLUSION: First-line testing with functional imaging is cost-effective at low to intermediate value of correct diagnosis in patients with low to intermediate risk of CAD. ICA is not cost effective although ICA-FFR may be at higher CET.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001700
JournalOpen Heart
Issue number1
Early online date4 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2022


  • Angina, Stable/diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Angiography/methods
  • Coronary Artery Disease/diagnostic imaging
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Fractional Flow Reserve, Myocardial
  • Humans


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