• anticoagulation;
  • cost-effectiveness analysis;
  • decision model;
  • post-thrombotic syndrome;
  • thrombolytic therapy;
  • venous thrombosis



Additional treatment with catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) has recently been shown to reduce post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS).


To estimate the cost effectiveness of additional CDT compared with standard treatment alone.


Using a Markov decision model, we compared the two treatment strategies in patients with a high proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a low risk of bleeding. The model captured the development of PTS, recurrent venous thromboembolism and treatment-related adverse events within a lifetime horizon and the perspective of a third-party payer. Uncertainty was assessed with one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyzes. Model inputs from the CaVenT study included PTS development, major bleeding from CDT and utilities for post DVT states including PTS. The remaining clinical inputs were obtained from the literature. Costs obtained from the CaVenT study, hospital accounts and the literature are expressed in US dollars ($); effects in quality adjusted life years (QALY).


In base case analyzes, additional CDT accumulated 32.31 QALYs compared with 31.68 QALYs after standard treatment alone. Direct medical costs were $64 709 for additional CDT and $51 866 for standard treatment. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was $20 429/QALY gained. One-way sensitivity analysis showed model sensitivity to the clinical efficacy of both strategies, but the ICER remained < $55 000/QALY over the full range of all parameters. The probability that CDT is cost effective was 82% at a willingness to pay threshold of $50 000/QALY gained.


Additional CDT is likely to be a cost-effective alternative to the standard treatment for patients with a high proximal DVT and a low risk of bleeding.