An economic analysis of chromosome testing in couples with children who have structural chromosome abnormalities

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2018, 13 (6)
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© 2018 Thiboonboon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background Structural chromosome abnormalities can cause significant negative reproductive outcomes as they typically result in morbidity and mortality of newborns. The prevalence of structural chromosomal abnormalities in live births is at least 0.05%, of which many of them have parental origins. It is uncommon to predict structural chromosome abnormalities at birth in the first child but it is possible to prevent repeated abnormalities through screening and diagnostic programmes. This study will provide an economic analysis of the prenatal detection of these abnormalities. Methods A cost-benefit analysis using a decision analytic model was employed to compare the status quo (doing nothing) with two interventional strategies. The first strategy (Strategy I) is preconceptional screening plus amniocentesis, and the second strategy (Strategy II) is amniocentesis alone. The monetary values in Thai baht (THB) were adjusted to international dollars (I$) using purchasing power parity (PPP) (I$1 = THB 17.60 for the year 2013). The robustness of the results was tested by applying a probabilistic sensitivity analysis. Results Both diagnostic strategies can reduce approximately 10.7–11.1 births with abnormal chromosomes per 1,000 diagnosed couples. The benefit cost ratios were 1.62 for Strategy I and 1.24 for Strategy II. Net present values per 1,000 diagnoses in couples were I$464,000 for Strategy I and I$267,000 for Strategy II. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis suggested that the cost-benefit analysis was sufficiently robust, confirming that both strategies provided higher benefits than costs. Conclusions Since the benefits of both diagnostic strategies exceeded their costs, both strategies are economical–with Strategy I being more economically attractive. Strategy I is superior to Strategy II because it decreases the risk of normal children potentially dying from the amniocentesis process.
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