Cost-effectiveness of ablation surgery in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing cardiac surgery

Nathalie H. van Breugel*, Elham Bidar, Brigitte A. Essers, Fred H. Nieman, Ryan E. Accord, Johan L. Severens, Ries Vrakking, Jos G. Maessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study was performed to assess the cost-effectiveness of concomitant ablation surgery (AS) compared to regular cardiac surgery in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients over a one-year follow-up. Cost analysis was performed from a societal perspective alongside a prospective, randomised, double-blinded, multicentre trial. One hundred and fifty patients with documented AF were randomly assigned to undergo cardiac surgery with or without AS. One hundred and thirty-two patients were included in the cost-effectiveness study. All costs (medical and non-medical) were measured during follow-up. Costs data were combined with quality adjusted life years (QALYs) to obtain the incremental costs per QALY. Total costs of the AS group were significantly higher compared to the regular cardiac surgery group [cost difference bootstrap: (sic)4,724; 95% uncertainty interval (UI), (sic)2,770-(sic)6,678]. The bootstrapped difference in QALYs was not statistically significant (0.06; 95% UI: -0.024 to 0.14). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is (sic)73,359 per QALY. The acceptability curve showed that, even in the case of a maximum threshold value of (sic)80,000 per QALY gained, the probability of AS being more cost-effective than regular cardiac surgery did not reach beyond 50%. Concluding that concomitant AS in AF is not cost-effective after a one-year follow-up compared to regular cardiac surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-398
JournalInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Ablation surgery
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Quality adjusted life year
  • Randomised


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