A Systematic Review on the Cost-Effectiveness of Genetic and Electrocardiogram Testing for Long QT Syndrome in Infants and Young Adults

Fernando Matias Gonzalez, Maria Assunta Veneziano, Anna Puggina, Stefania Boccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Recent improvements in the identification of the genetic basis of long QT syndrome (LQTS) have led to significant changes in the diagnosis and management of this life-threatening condition. Genetic and electrocardiogram (ECG) tests are the most relevant examples among testing strategies for LQTS, yet their cost-effectiveness remains controversial. Objective The aim of this work was to review the available evidence on the cost-effectiveness of genetic and ECG testing strategies for the diagnosis of LQTS. Methods We performed a systematic review of the literature on the cost-effectiveness of genetic and ECG screening strategies for the early detection of LQTS using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CRD databases between 2000 and 2013. A weighted version of Drummond checklist was instrumental in further assessing the quality of the included studies. Results We identified four eligible articles. Among them, genetic testing in the early detection of LQTS was cost-effective compared with no testing in symptomatic cases and not cost-effective when compared with watchful waiting in asymptomatic first-degree relatives of patients with established LQTS although it reached cost-effectiveness in higher risk subgroups, whereas ECG testing in neonates was highly cost-effective when compared with any screening strategy. Conclusions LQTS profiling and patients' stratification have the potential to improve the disease management. Because of the limited current knowledge in this field, the present review recommends to perform further cost-effectiveness evaluations of the genetic and ECG screening alternatives, especially within European health care systems, which are still not available in the literature on genetic testing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1156
Pages (from-to)700-708
Number of pages9
JournalValue in Health
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • cost-effectiveness
  • ECG
  • economic evaluation
  • genetic testing
  • long QT syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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