Modelling the cost-effectiveness of carotid endarterectomy for asymptomatic stenosis

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The aim of this study was to model the cost-effectiveness of carotid endarterectomy for asymptomatic stenosis versus medical therapy based on 10-year data from the Asymptomatic Carotid Surgery Trial (ACST).


This was a cost–utility analysis based on clinical effectiveness data from the ACST with UK-specific costs and stroke outcomes. A Markov model was used to calculate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER, or cost per additional quality-of-life year) for a strategy of early endarterectomy versus medical therapy for the average patient and published subgroups. An exploratory analysis considered contemporary event rates.


The ICER was £ 7584 per additional quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) for the average patient in the ACST. At thresholds of £ 20 000 and £ 30 000 there was a 74 and 84 per cent chance respectively of early endarterectomy being cost-effective. The ICER for men below 75 years of age was £ 3254, and that for men aged 75 years or above was £ 71 699. For women aged under 75 years endarterectomy was less costly and more effective than medical therapy; for women aged 75 years or more endarterectomy was less effective and more costly than medical therapy. At contemporary perioperative event rates of 2·7 per cent and background any-territory stroke rates of 1·6 per cent, early endarterectomy remained cost-effective.


In the ACST, early endarterectomy was predicted to be cost-effective in those below 75 years of age, using a threshold of £ 20 000 per QALY. If background any-territory stroke rates fell below 1 per cent per annum, early endarterectomy would cease to be cost-effective. Copyright © 2012 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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