Aims To evaluate the clinical and cost- effectiveness of left ventricular (LV) assist devices (LVADs) as a bridge to transplant (BTT) for people with end-stage heart failure (ESHF) through a systematic review and economic evaluation.
Methods and results The systematic review and economic evaluation was conducted according to internationally recognized methods. The search strategy identified systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental studies, and observational studies evaluating the effects of LVADs on survival, functional capacity, and quality of life. Cost-effectiveness was assessed through a 5-year decision analytic model to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of LVADs compared with usual care. Despite the poor methodological quality of the 18 studies included, LVADs appear beneficial improving survival, functional status, and quality of life. Adverse events are a serious concern. The economic evaluation showed that LVADs had a cost per quality adjusted life year of 65 pound 242 (95% confidence interval 34 pound 194-364 564). Sensitivity analysis showed that post-heart transplant survival gains, pre-heart transplant patient utility, and one-off costs associated with implantation determine cost-effectiveness.
Conclusion Although LVADs appear clinically effective as a BTT for people with ESHF, it is unlikely that they will be cost-effective unless costs decrease or the benefits of their use increase.
- heart failure
- left ventricular assist devices
- systematic review
- economic evaluation
- health technology assessment
- mechanical circulatory support
- quality of Life
- long term use
- cardiac transplantation
- destination therapy
- Jarvik 2000 heart