Background: Despite significant technical advancement in the last decade, the durability of endovascular management of critical limb ischemia (CLI) remains highly debatable. Drug-eluting stents (DESs) are being popularized for the management of CLI after its precedent success in coronary intervention. Initial reports on the durability of DES are promising. However, little is known on the additional cost of this relatively newer technology. The aim of this study is to compare the cost of the traditional bare metal stents (BMSs) to the newly introduced DES in a large cohort of CLI patients. Methods: Using the Premier database (2009–2015), we identified all patients with CLI undergoing DES and BMS. A multivariable generalized linear model was implemented to examine in-hospital cost adjusting for patients' characteristics, comorbidities, and regional characteristics. Results: A total of 20,702 patients with CLI underwent peripheral artery revascularization using BMS (18,924 [91.41%]) or DES (1,778 [8.6%]). Majority of patients were males (53%) and whites (71%). Patients undergoing BMS were slightly younger (median age [interquartile range]: 70 [62–79] versus 71 [63–80]) and were more likely to be smokers (46% vs. 39%) and have a history of cerebrovascular disease (10% vs. 8%) and chronic pulmonary disease (24.5% vs. 20.9%) as compared with those undergoing DES (all P < 0.05). On the other hand, DES patients had a high prevalence of diabetes (4% vs. 3%) and renal disease (25% vs. 22%) (both P < 0.05). There was also a significant increase in the proportion of patients undergoing DES and a corresponding decrease in BMS (P < 0.001) over the study period. Median total in-hospitalization cost (BMS: $13,342 [8,574 to 21,166], DES: $13,243 [8,560–20,232], P = 0.76) was similar for both approaches. After adjusting for potential confounders, DES was associated with $407 higher cost than BMS (adjusted mean difference [95% confidence interval]: 407 [17 to 798], P = 0.04). In addition, the cost was $672 higher in teaching hospitals, $1,153 higher in Rural areas, and increased in all regions compared with the Midwest (adjusted mean difference [95% confidence interval]—South: $293 [31 to 555], Northeast: $2,006 [1,517 to 2,495], West: $3,312 [2,930 to 3,695], all P < 0.05). Conclusions: In this large cohort of CLI patients, after controlling for potential confounders, we demonstrated that the cost of endovascular revascularization is significantly higher in patients undergoing DES than those undergoing BMS. Regional disparities in cost were also observed. Further studies looking at the long-term durability and costs of DES versus BMS are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine