Cost-effectiveness analysis of screening for first-degree relatives of patients with bicuspid aortic valve

Idit Tessler*, Moshe Leshno, Amir Shmueli, Shoshana Shpitzen, Ronen Durst, Dan Gilon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is the commonest congenital heart valve malformation, and is associated with life-threatening complications. Given the high heritability index of BAV, many experts recommend echocardiography screening for first-degree relatives (FDRs) of an index case. Here, we aim to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of such cascade screening for BAV. Methods and results: Using a decision-analytic model, we performed a cost-effectiveness analysis of echocardiographic screening for FDRs of a BAV index case. Data on BAV probabilities and complications among FDRs were derived from our institution's BAV familial cohort and from the literature on population-based BAV cohorts with long-term follow-up. Health gain was measured as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Cost inputs were based on list prices and literature data. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to account for uncertainty in the model's variables. Screening of FDRs was found to be the dominant strategy, being more effective and less costly than no screening, with savings of €644 and gains of 0.3 QALY. Results were sensitive throughout the range of the main model's variables, including the full range of reported BAV rates among FDRs across the literature. A gradual decrease of the incremental effect was found with the increase in screening age. Conclusion: This economic evaluation model found that echocardiographic screening of FDRs of a BAV index case is not only clinically important but also cost-effective and cost-saving. Sensitivity analysis supported the model's robustness, suggesting its generalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-457
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean heart journal. Quality of care & clinical outcomes
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Aortopathy
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Decision analysis
  • Markov model
  • Outcome


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