Cost-effectiveness of intestinal transplantation for adult patients with intestinal failure: a simulation study1-4

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Home parenteral nutrition (HPN) and intestinal transplantation (ITx) are the 2 treatment options for irreversible intestinal failure (IF).


This study simulated the disease course of irreversible IF and both of these treatments—HPN and ITx—to estimate the cost-effectiveness of ITx.


We simulated IF treatment in adults as a discrete event model with variables derived from the Dutch Registry of Intestinal Failure and Intestinal Transplantation, the Intestinal Transplant Registry, hospital records, the literature, and expert opinions. Simulated patients were enrolled at a rate of 40/mo for 10 y. The maximum follow-up was 40 y. Survival was simulated as a probabilistic function. ITx was offered to 10% of patients with <12 mo of remaining life expectancy with HPN if they did not undergo ITx. Costs were calculated according to Dutch guidelines, with discounting. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of ITx by comparing models conducted with and without ITx and by calculating the cost difference per life-year gained [incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER)].


The average survival was 14.6 y without ITx and 14.9 y with ITx. HPN costs were €13,276 for treatment introduction, followed by €77,652 annually. The costs of ITx were ˜€73,000 during the first year and then €13,000 annually. The ICER was €19,529 per life-year gained.


Our simulations show that ITx slightly improves survival of patients with IF in comparison with HPN at an additional cost of €19,529 per life-year gained. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101:79-86.

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