Cost-effectiveness of noninvasive liver fibrosis tests for treatment decisions in patients with chronic hepatitis B in the UK: systematic review and economic evaluation

2016 Journal of viral hepatitis 23;2 (139-149)

We compared the cost-effectiveness of various noninvasive tests (NITs) in patients with chronic hepatitis B and elevated transaminases and/or viral load who would normally undergo liver biopsy to inform treatment decisions. We searched various databases until April 2012. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to calculate the diagnostic accuracy of various NITs using a bivariate random-effects model. We constructed a probabilistic decision analytical model to estimate health care costs and outcomes quality-adjusted-life-years (QALYs) using data from the meta-analysis, literature, and national UK data. We compared the cost-effectiveness of four decision-making strategies: testing with NITs and treating patients with fibrosis stage >/=F2, testing with liver biopsy and treating patients with >/=F2, treat none (watchful waiting) and treat all irrespective of fibrosis. Treating all patients without prior fibrosis assessment had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of pound28 137 per additional QALY gained for HBeAg-negative patients. For HBeAg-positive patients, using Fibroscan was the most cost-effective option with an ICER of pound23 345. The base case results remained robust in the majority of sensitivity analyses, but were sensitive to changes in the >/=F2 prevalence and the benefit of treatment in patients with F0-F1. For HBeAg-negative patients, strategies excluding NITs were the most cost-effective: treating all patients regardless of fibrosis level if the high cost-effectiveness threshold of pound30 000 is accepted; watchful waiting if not. For HBeAg-positive patients, using Fibroscan to identify and treat those with >/=F2 was the most cost-effective option.

Pubmed : 26444996