Cost Effectiveness of Primary Stenting in the Superficial Femoral Artery for Intermittent Claudication: Two Year Results of a Randomised Multicentre Trial

Henrik Djerf, Mikael Svensson, Joakim Nordanstig, Anders Gottsäter, Mårten Falkenberg, Hans Lindgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Invasive treatment of intermittent claudication (IC) is commonly performed, despite limited evidence of its cost effectiveness. IC symptoms are mainly caused by atherosclerotic lesions in the superficial femoral artery (SFA), and endovascular treatment is performed frequently. The aim of this study was to investigate its cost effectiveness vs. non-invasive treatment. Methods: One hundred patients with IC due to lesions in the SFA were randomised to treatment with primary stenting, best medical treatment (BMT) and exercise advice (stent group), or to BMT and exercise advice alone (control group). Patients were recruited at seven hospitals in Sweden. For this analysis of cost effectiveness after 24 months, 84 patients with data on quality adjusted life years (QALY; based on the EuroQol Five Dimensions EQ-5D 3L™ questionnaire) were analysed. Patient registry and imputed cost data were used for accumulated costs regarding hospitalisation and outpatient visits. Results: The mean cost per patient was €11 060 in the stent group and €4 787 in the control group, resulting in a difference of €6 273 per patient between the groups. The difference in mean QALYs between the groups was 0.26, in favour of the stent group, which resulted in an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of € 23 785 per QALY. Conclusion: The costs associated with primary stenting in the SFA for the treatment of IC were higher than for exercise advice and BMT alone. With concurrent improvement in health related quality of life, primary stenting was a cost effective treatment option according to the Swedish national guidelines (ICER < €50 000 – €70 000) and approaching the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence threshold for willingness to pay (ICER < £20 000 – £30 000). From a cost effectiveness standpoint, primary stenting of the SFA can, in many countries, be used as an adjunct to exercise training advice, but it must be considered that successful implementation of structured exercise programmes and longer follow up may alter these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-582
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date2021 Aug 25
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Free keywords

  • Cost effectiveness
  • Intermittent claudication
  • Stents


Dive into the research topics of 'Cost Effectiveness of Primary Stenting in the Superficial Femoral Artery for Intermittent Claudication: Two Year Results of a Randomised Multicentre Trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this