Indwelling pleural catheter drainage strategy for malignant effusion: A cost-effectiveness analysis

Majid Shafiq, Suzanne Simkovich, Shakir Hossen, David J. Feller-Kopman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rationale: The likelihood of achieving pleurodesis after indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) placement for malignant pleural effusion varies with the specific drainage strategy used: Symptom-guided drainage, daily drainage, or talc instillation through the IPC (IPC1talc). The relative cost-effectiveness of one strategy over the other is unknown. Objectives: We performed a decision tree model-based analysis to ascertain the cost-effectiveness of each IPC drainage strategy from a healthcare system perspective. Methods: We developed a decision tree model using theoretical event probability data derived from three randomized clinical trials and used 2019 Medicare reimbursement data for cost estimation. The primary outcome was incremental costeffectiveness ratio (ICER) over an analytical horizon of 6 months with a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analysis and one-way sensitivity analyses were conducted to measure the uncertainty surrounding base case estimates. Results: IPC1talc was a cost-effective alternative to symptomguided drainage, with an ICER of $59,729/QALY. Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analysis revealed that this strategy was favored in 54% of simulations. However, symptom-guided drainage was cost effective for pleurodesis rates .20% and for life expectancy ,4 months. Daily drainage was not cost effective in any scenario, including for patients with nonexpandable lung, in whom it had an ICER of $2,474,612/QALY over symptom-guided drainage. Conclusions: For patients with malignant pleural effusion and an expandable lung, IPC1talc may be cost effective relative to symptom-guided drainage, although considerable uncertainty exists around this estimation. Daily IPC drainage is not a cost-effective strategy under any circumstance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-753
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Indwelling catheters
  • Indwelling pleural catheter
  • Malignant pleural effusion
  • Tunneled pleural catheter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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