Cost-Effectiveness of Malignant Pleural Effusion with Indwelling Catheter: Systematic Review

Journal of Palliative Medicine 2020 December 30 [Link]

Maribel Botana-Rial, Cristina Ramos-Hernández, Irene Lojo-Rodríguez, Cristina Represas-Represas, Alberto Ruano-Raviña, Virginia Leiro-Fernández, Alberto Fernández-Villar


Background: The current cost of treatment of malignant pleural effusion (MPE) with an indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) is unclear. Objective: We propose a review of the scientific evidence on the cost and effectiveness of this therapeutic option. Methods: Systematic review of the literature on the cost and effectiveness of the treatment of MPE by IPC, according to the PRISMA methodology and quality according to the scientific guidelines. Results: A total of 4 articles, 152 patients, and 159 IPCs were included. The use of IPC was associated with improvement in symptoms and quality of life. The most common complications were infections (empyema in 20.9% of patients and cellulitis in 17.3%); 9% of cases were hospitalized due to complications, and <2% required subsequent procedures. The average cost of IPC (set/drainage bottles) ranged from €2,025.6 to €1,200.5 if it was placed on an outpatient basis, €1,100 if survival was <6 weeks, and €4,028 in patients with mesothelioma. Complications increased the cost, and taking into account follow-up visits, additional tests, and days of admission for complications, the cost was >€5,000. Compared with pleurodesis, the cost of IPC was significantly lower when patient survival was <14 weeks, but not when survival was longer or home care was required. Conclusions: The use of IPC is associated with good control of MPE and seldom requires many subsequent procedures; however, it is also associated with a certain rate of complications, which may increase costs. However, ambulatory management may help reduce costs, which are directly related to the type of tumor, the duration of survival, and the need for specialized treatment.