Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of the Management of Distal Ureteral Stones in Children

Katherine H. Chan, Benjamin M. Whittam, Amy Krambeck, Stephen M. Downs, Rosalia Misseri, Mark P. Cain, William E. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine the most cost-effective approach to the management of distal ureteral stones in children given the potential for recurrent renal colic during a trial of passage versus potential stent discomfort and complications of ureteroscopy. Methods: We developed a decision tree to project costs and clinical outcomes associated with observation, medical explusive therapy (MET), and ureteroscopy for the management of an index patient with a 4-mm-distal ureteral stone. We determined which strategy would be least costly and offer the most pain-free days within 30days of diagnosis. We performed a one-way sensitivity analysis on the probability of successful stone passage with MET. We obtained probabilities from the literature and costs from the 2016 Pediatric Health Information System Database. Results: Ureteroscopy was the costliest strategy but maximized the number of pain-free days within 30days of diagnosis ($5282/29 pain-free days). MET was less costly than ureteroscopy but also less effective ($615/21.8 pain-free days). Observation cost more than MET and was also less effective ($2139/15.5 pain-free days). The one-way sensitivity analysis on the probability of successful stone passage with MET demonstrated that ureteroscopy always has the highest net monetary benefits value and is therefore the recommended strategy given a fixed willingness-to-pay. Discussion: Using a rigorous decision-science approach, we found that ureteroscopy is the recommended strategy in children with small distal ureteral stones. Although it costs more than MET, it resulted in more pain-free days in the first 30days following diagnosis given the faster resolution of the stone episode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalUrology
Volume127
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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