A health economic evaluation of concomitant surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation

Mark Lamotte, Lieven Annemans, Ben Bridgewater, Simon Kendall, Markus Siebert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: Current drug treatment for atrial fibrillation is suboptimal and percutaneous catheter-based ablation techniques may be associated with complications. The aim of this study is to assess the cost-effectiveness of (1) high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)-assisted surgical ablation, (2) the classic 'cut and sew' maze procedure and (3) percutaneous ablation, all concomitant to cardiac surgery (e.g. CABG, valve repair) in comparison with non-interventional (drug) treatment. Methods: A Markov model was developed to predict the cost-effectiveness of the interventional approaches. The model consisted of four disease states (sinus rhythm without complications, atrial fibrillation without complications, stroke and death), allowing for 3-monthly transitions between these states and using direct UK costs from the National Health Service perspective. Clinical input data are obtained from literature and cost input data from National Health Service sources and literature. Five-year total and incremental costs are calculated. Incremental effects are expressed in quality-adjusted-life-years-gained (QALYG). Results: All interventional treatments show good incremental cost-effectiveness ratios in all atrial fibrillation types, compared to drug treatment. For classic maze the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio compared to non-interventional atrial fibrillation treatment varies from 1343 to 3471 GBP/QALYG, for HIFU-assisted surgical ablation from 4005 to 7448 GBP/QALYG and for percutaneous ablation from 7041 to 17,372 GBP/QALYG depending on the atrial fibrillation type. Sensitivity analyses showed the robustness of the data. Conclusions: Performing a classic maze procedure or HIFU-assisted surgical ablation concomitant to a scheduled CABG or valve procedure is highly cost-effective. Performing a percutaneous ablation in a subsequent procedure is also cost-effective, but to a lower extent. Both the maze procedure and the HIFU-assisted surgical ablation are cheaper and more effective than percutaneous ablation in a subsequent procedure. © 2007 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)702-710
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


    • Arrhythmia
    • Atrial fibrillation
    • Cost-effectiveness analysis
    • Health economics
    • Surgical ablation


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