Cost savings with a novel algorithm for early detection of systemic sclerosis-related pulmonary arterial hypertension: alternative scenario analyses

Alannah Quinlivan, Susanna Proudman, Joanne Sahhar, Wendy Stevens, Mandana Nikpour, on behalf of the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIG)

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Pulmonary arterial hypertension is an important cause of death and disability in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Yearly screening of all SSc patients with transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is recommended in international guidelines and currently utilised by the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group (ASIGSTANDARD). Owing to the limitations of TTE, the ASIG developed a new screening algorithm (ASIGPROPOSED) utilising a serum biomarker, NT-proBNP, in place of TTE, which has been shown to be equally accurate as the current algorithm. The aim of this study was to compare the cost of these two algorithms using different scenarios. The new algorithm resulted in significant yearly cost savings of between AU$42 913.35 and AU$84 570 in screening and diagnosis of an Australian cohort which, if extrapolated to the Australian population, would result in a yearly cost saving of between AU$367 066 and AU$725 564. There was no scenario in which the proposed algorithm did not result in a cost saving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-785
Number of pages5
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Australian Scleroderma Interest Group
  • NT-proBNP
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • screening
  • systemic sclerosis

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