Cost comparison of transcatheter and operative closures of ostium secundum atrial septal defects

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Clinical outcomes for transcatheter and operative closures of atrial septal defects (ASDs) are similar. Economic cost for each method has not been well described.


A single-center retrospective cohort study of children and adults<30 years of age undergoing closure for single secundum ASD from January 1, 2007, to April 1, 2012, was performed to measure differences in inflation-adjusted cost of operative and transcatheter closures of ASD. A propensity score weight-adjusted multivariate regression model was used in an intention-to-treat analysis. Costs for reintervention and crossover admissions were included in primary analysis.


A total of 244 subjects were included in the study (64% transcatheter and 36% operative), of which 2% (n = 5) were ≥18 years. Crossover rate from transcatheter to operative group was 3%. Risk of reintervention (P = .66) and 30-day mortality (P = .37) were not significantly different. In a multivariate model, adjusted cost of operative closure was 2012 US $60,992 versus 2012 US $55,841 for transcatheter closure (P < .001). Components of total cost favoring transcatheter closure were length of stay, medications, and follow-up radiologic and laboratory testing, overcoming higher costs of procedure and echocardiography. Professional costs did not differ. The rate of 30-day readmission was greater in the operative cohort, further increasing the cost advantage of transcatheter closure. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that costs of follow-up visits influenced relative cost but that device closure remained favorable over a broad range of crossover and reintervention rates.


For single secundum ASD, cost comparison analysis favors transcatheter closure over the short term. The cost of follow-up regimens influences the cost advantage of transcatheter closure.

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