Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2010; 32: 1332–1342
Background In the UK, oesophagectomy is the current recommendation for patients with persistent high-grade dysplasia in Barrett’s oesophagus. Radiofrequency ablation is an alternative new technology with promising early trial results.
Aim To undertake a cost–utility analysis comparing these two strategies.
Methods We constructed a Markov model to simulate the natural history of a cohort of patients with high-grade dysplasia in Barrett’s oesophagus undergoing one of two treatment options: (i) oesophagectomy or (ii) radiofrequency ablation followed by endoscopic surveillance with oesophagectomy for high-grade dysplasia recurrence or persistence.
Results In the base case analysis, radiofrequency ablation dominated as it generated 0.4 extra quality of life years at a cost saving of £1902. For oesophagectomy to be the most cost-effective option, it required a radiofrequency ablation treatment failure rate (high-grade dysplasia persistence or progression to cancer) of >44%, or an annual risk of high-grade dysplasia recurrence or progression to cancer in the ablated oesophagus of >15% per annum. There was an 85% probability that radiofrequency ablation remained cost-effective at the NICE willingness to pay threshold range of £20 000–30 000.
Conclusion Radiofrequency ablation is likely to be a cost-effective option for high-grade dysplasia in Barrett’s oesophagus in the UK.