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Measurement of fractional flow reserve to guide decisions for percutaneous coronary intervention

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Author(s): Siebert, Uwe | Bornschein, Bernhard | Schnell-Inderst, Petra | Rieber, Johannes | Pijls, Nico | Wasem, Jürgen | Klauss, Volker

Journal: GMS Health Technology Assessment
ISSN 1861-8863

Volume: 4;
Start page: Doc07;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Background: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of premature death in Germany. Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) are frequently performed in patients with angiographically intermediate stenoses. However, the necessity of PCI has not been proven for all patients. Pressure-based fractional flow reserve (FFR) is an invasive test that can be used to assess the functional significance of intermediate coronary stenoses in order to guide decisions on PCI. Objectives: This health technology assessment (HTA) aims to evaluate (1) the diagnostic accuracy, (2) the risk-benefit trade-off and (3) the long-term cost-effectiveness of FFR measurement to guide the decision on PCI in patients with stable angina pectoris and intermediate coronary stenoses. Methods: We performed a literature search in medical and HTA databases. We used the DIMDI instruments (DIMDI = Deutsches Institut für Medizinische Dokumentation und Information/German Institute for Medical Information and Documentation) to assess study quality and to extract and summarize the information in evidence tables. We performed a meta-analysis to calculate the pooled overall estimate for sensitivity and specificity of FFR with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Individual studies’ case numbers were used as weights. The influence of single studies and important covariates on the results was tested in sensitivity analyses. We developed the German Coronary Artery Disease Outcome Model (German CADOM), a decision-analytic Markov model, to estimate the long-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of FFR measurement in the context of the German healthcare system. Results: Our literature search identified twelve studies relevant to this HTA-report including ten diagnostic accuracy studies of FFR measurement, one randomized clinical trial (RCT) investigating the clinical benefits of this technique as well as one economic evaluation. Pooled estimates for sensitivity and specificity were 81.7% (95% CI: 77.0-85.7%) and 78.7% (95% CI: 74.3-82.7%). Sensitivity analyses indicated robust results. The RCT investigating the efficacy of an FFR-based treatment strategy provided evidence of the advantages of this strategy for patients with respect to freedom from angina and major adverse cardiac events. The published cost-effectiveness study demonstrates that the FFR-based strategy is cost-saving in the US context. Based on our own decision analysis for the German context, the FFR-based strategy improves (quality-adjusted) life-expectancy when compared to universal PCI and is cost-effective in the German healthcare context. This HTA is limited by the use of poor gold standards in several of the included diagnostic studies as well as the ongoing advance of technology and treatment options in interventional cardiology. Results of the decision analysis are limited by the necessary underlying assumptions and the uncertainty regarding long-term mortality reduction associated with PCI. Further research should focus on the acquisition of long-term data for disease progression in patients with and without functional coronary stenoses as well as the benefits and risks of PCI. Conclusions: Based on actual evidence and our decision analysis, the use of FFR measurement to guide the decision on PCI should lead to better short- and long-term clinical outcomes in patients with stable angina and single-vessel disease without documented myocardial ischemia and it should provide a cost-effective use of resources in the German healthcare system. FFR measurement should be introduced in routine clinical practice. However, appropriate reimbursement strategies are necessary to avoid wrong incentives.

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