Cost-Effectiveness of Routine Type and Screens in Select Endonasal Skull Base Surgeries

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Journal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base


Objective The study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of obtaining preoperative type and screens (T/S) for common endonasal skull base procedures, and determine patient and hospital factors associated with receiving blood transfusions.

Study Design Retrospective database analysis of the 2006 to 2015 National (nationwide) Inpatient Sample and cost-effectiveness analysis.

Main Outcome Measures Multivariate regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with transfusions. A cost-effectiveness analysis was then performed to determine the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of obtaining preoperative T/S to prevent an emergency-release transfusion (ERT), with a willingness-to-pay threshold of $1,500.

Results A total of 93,105 cases were identified with an overall transfusion rate of 1.89%. On multivariate modeling, statistically significant factors associated with transfusion included nonelective admission (odds ratio [OR]: 2.32; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.78–3.02), anemia (OR: 4.42; 95% CI: 3.35–5.83), coagulopathy (OR: 4.72; 95% CI: 2.94–7.57), diabetes (OR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.14–1.84), liver disease (OR: 2.37; 95% CI: 1.27–4.43), pulmonary circulation disorders (OR: 3.28; 95% CI: 1.71–6.29), and metastatic cancer (OR: 5.85; 95% CI: 2.63–13.0; p < 0.01 for all). The ICER of preoperative T/S was $3,576 per ERT prevented. One-way sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the risk of transfusion should exceed 4.12% to justify preoperative T/S.

Conclusion Routine preoperative T/S does not represent a cost-effective practice for these surgeries using nationally representative data. A selective T/S policy for high-risk patients may reduce costs.