Surgery versus surveillance in ulcerative colitis patients with endoscopically invisible low-grade dysplasia: a cost-effectiveness analysis.
Parker B., Buchanan J., Wordsworth S., Keshav S., George B., East JE.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: There is uncertainty regarding the optimal management of endoscopically invisible (flat) low-grade dysplasia in ulcerative colitis. Such a finding does not currently provide an automatic indication for colectomy; however, a recommendation of surveillance instead of surgery is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of colonoscopic surveillance versus colectomy for endoscopically invisible low-grade dysplasia of the colon in ulcerative colitis. METHODS: A Markov model was used to evaluate the costs and health outcomes of surveillance and surgery over a 20-year timeframe. Outcomes evaluated were life years gained and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Cohorts of patients aged 25 to 75 were modeled, including estimates from a validated surgical risk calculator and considering none, 1, or both of 2 key comorbidities: heart failure and obstructive airway disease. RESULTS: Surveillance is associated with more life years and QALYs compared with surgery from age 61 for those with no comorbidities, age 51 for those with 1 comorbidity and age 25 for those with 2 comorbidities. At the current United Kingdom National Institute for Health and Care Excellence threshold of $25,800 per QALY, ongoing surveillance was cost-effective at age 65 in those without comorbidities and at age 60 in those with either 1 or more comorbidities. CONCLUSIONS: Surveillance can be recommended from age 65 for those with no comorbidities; however, in younger patients with typical postsurgical quality of life, colectomy may be more effective clinically and more cost-effective. The results were sensitive to the colorectal cancer incidence rate in patients under surveillance and to quality of life after surgery.