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Background: Evidence has demonstrated that adding intermittent inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) to treatment with short-acting b2-agonists (SABAs) in children 5 years of age and younger who experience intermittent viral-induced wheezing (VIW) reduces the risk of severe exacerbations. However, there is concern about whether the extra benefit offered by this drug outweighs the additional cost. This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of intermittent ICS in children 5 years of age and younger who experience intermittent VIW. Methods: We constructed a probabilistic Markov model to estimate the cost and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) of intermittent ICS compared with SABA reliever therapy in preschoolers with viral-triggered wheezing in Colombia. Multiple sensitivity analyses were conducted. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated at a willingness-to-pay value of $5,180. Results: In an analysis of the Markov cohort model, we estimated a gain of 0.2 QALYs per patient per year on intermittent ICS compared with SABA and a reduction of cost per patient of USD $37 per year. This position of dominance negated the need to calculate an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses, our base case results were robust to variations of all assumptions and parameters. Conclusion: Adding intermittent ICS to treatment with SABAs in children 5 years of age and younger who experience intermittent VIW was found to be cost effective. These results could improve the use of health care resources, especially in settings with limited economic resources.

Original publication




Journal article


Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol

Publication Date





36 - 42


Markov model, cost-effectiveness analysis, decision analysis, uncontrolled asthma, Adrenal Cortex Hormones, Anti-Asthmatic Agents, Asthma, Child, Humans, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Respiratory Sounds