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Economic evidence that informs vascular access device choice

"This study provided economic evidence that informs vascular access device choice for medium- to long-term chemotherapy" Wang et al (2021).


Background: Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and totally implanted vascular access ports (PORTs) have been widely used for medium- to long-term chemotherapy. PICCs are associated with lower insertion cost, but higher complication rates than PORTs. However, there is a paucity of cost-effectiveness comparisons between the devices. We aimed to compare the cost-effectiveness of PICCs and PORTs for medium- to long-term chemotherapy from catheter insertion to removal.

Methods: A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted based on propensity score matching (PSM) from the hospital perspective. Data were collected from a retrospective cohort study. The total cost outcome comprised insertion, maintenance, removal and complication costs. The effectiveness outcome was the complication-free rate. The primary and supplemental outcomes were cost-effectiveness ratios (CERs) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs).

Results: A total of 1050 patients (after PSM for 417 patients) were included. The average total cost for 3-6 month ($603.55 ± 78.68 vs $1270.21 ± 128.84), 6-9 month ($731.40 ± 42.97 vs $1414.48 ± 155.43), and 9-12 month ($966.83 ± 53.78 vs $1587.76 ± 160.56) dwell times were all significantly lower for PICCs than for PORTs (p < 0.001). PICCs were associated with significantly lower complication-free rates than PORTs during the 3-6 month (65.22% vs 90.58%, p < 0.001), 6-9 month (53.33% vs 91.80%, p < 0.001), and 9-12 month (44.44% vs 88.46%, p = 0.015) dwell times. Ultimately, PICCs were associated with lower CERs than PORTs for the 3-6 month (928.54 vs 1395.84) and 6-9 month (1380.00 vs 1537.48) but higher CER for the 9-12 month (2197.34 vs 1804.27) dwell times. ICERs were 2564.08 and 1751.49 with dwell times of 3-6 months and 6-9 months, respectively.

Conclusion: This study provided economic evidence that informs vascular access device choice for medium- to long-term chemotherapy. For 3-9 month dwell times, PICCs were more cost-effective than PORTs. Furthermore, ICERs were applied and the choice was determined by willingness-to-pay. For 9-12 month dwell times, PORTs might be more cost-effective than PICCs, and studies with larger sample size would be needed to verify this finding in the future.


Wang K, Zhou Y, Huang N, Lu Z, Zhang X. Peripherally inserted central catheter versus totally implanted venous port for delivering medium- to long-term chemotherapy: A cost-effectiveness analysis based on propensity score matching. J Vasc Access. 2021 Feb 12:1129729821991360. doi: 10.1177/1129729821991360. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33579176.