Original article Clinical endoscopy| Volume 88, ISSUE 2, P267-276.e1, August 2018

Cost-effectiveness analysis comparing lumen-apposing metal stents with plastic stents in the management of pancreatic walled-off necrosis

Published:March 31, 2018DOI:

      Background and Aims

      EUS-guided transmural drainage is effective in the management of pancreatic walled-off necrosis (WON). A lumen-apposing metal stent (LAMS) has recently been developed specifically for the drainage of pancreatic fluid collections that shows promising results. However, no cost-effectiveness data have been published in comparison with endoscopic drainage with traditional plastic stents (PSs). Our aim here was to compare the cost-effectiveness of LAMSs to PSs in the management of WON.


      A decision tree was developed to assess both LAMSs and PSs over a 6-month time horizon. For each strategy, after the insertion of the respective stents, patients were followed for subsequent need for direct endoscopic necrosectomy, adverse events requiring unplanned endoscopy, percutaneous drainage (PCD), or surgery using probabilities obtained from the literature. The unit of effectiveness was defined as successful endoscopic drainage without the need for PCD or surgery. Costs in 2016 U.S.$ were based on inpatient institutional costs. Sensitivity analyses were performed. An a priori willingness-to-pay threshold of U.S.$50,000 was established.


      LAMSs were found to be more efficacious than PSs, with 92% and 84%, respectively, of the patients achieving successful endoscopic drainage of WON. LAMSs, however, were more costly: the average cost per patient of U.S.$20,029 compared with U.S.$15,941 for PSs. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio favored LAMSs at U.S.$49,214 per additional patient successfully treated. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of the results.


      LAMSs are more effective but also more costly than PSs in managing WON. Data from high-quality, adequately controlled, prospective, randomized trials are needed to confirm our findings.

      Graphical abstract


      ICER (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio), LAMS (lumen-apposing metal stent), LOS (length of stay), PS (plastic stent), PCD (percutaneous drainage), WON (walled-off necrosis), WTP (willingness to pay)
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