AJR Am J Roentgenol 2019 Apr 17:1-9. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
1 Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.
The purpose of this study is to compare imaging-based surveillance and diagnostic strategies in patients at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) while taking into account technically inadequate examinations and patient compliance. A Markov model simulated seven strategies for HCC surveillance and diagnosis in patients with cirrhosis: strategy A, ultrasound (US) for surveillance and CT for diagnosis; strategy B, US for surveillance and complete MRI for diagnosis; strategy C, US for surveillance and CT for inadequate or positive surveillance; strategy D, US for surveillance and complete MRI for inadequate or positive surveillance; strategy E, surveillance and diagnosis with CT followed by complete MRI for inadequate surveillance; strategy F, surveillance and diagnosis with complete MRI followed by CT for inadequate surveillance; and strategy G, surveillance with abbreviated MRI followed by CT for inadequate surveillance or complete MRI for positive surveillance. Two compliance scenarios were evaluated: optimal and conservative. For each scenario, the most cost-effective strategy was based on a willingness-to-pay threshold of $50,000 (Canadian) per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). Sensitivity analyses were performed. Base-case analysis revealed that strategy E was the most cost-effective when compliance was optimal ($13,631/QALY), and strategy G was the most cost-effective when compliance was conservative ($39,681/QALY). Sensitivity analyses supported the base-case analysis in the optimal compliance scenario, but several parameters altered the most cost-effective strategy in the conservative compliance scenario. In an optimal compliance scenario, CT for HCC surveillance and diagnosis and complete MRI for inadequate CT was most cost-effective. In a conservative compliance scenario, abbreviated MRI may be an alternative to US-based surveillance.