Is Advanced Imaging to Assess Rotator Cuff Integrity Before Shoulder Arthroplasty Cost-effective? A Decision Modeling Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Shoulder arthroplasty is increasingly performed for patients with symptoms of glenohumeral arthritis. Advanced imaging may be used to assess the integrity of the rotator cuff preoperatively because a deficient rotator cuff may be an indication for reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) rather than anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). However, the cost-effectiveness of advanced imaging in this setting has not been analyzed. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: In this cost-effectiveness modeling study of TSA, all patients underwent history and physical examination, radiography, and CT, and we compared (1) no further advanced imaging, (2) selective MRI, (3) MRI for all, (4) selective ultrasound, and (5) ultrasound for all. METHODS: A simple chain decision model was constructed with a base-case 65-year-old patient with a 7% probability of a large-to-massive rotator cuff tear and a follow-up of 5 years. Strategies were compared using the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) with a willingness to pay of both USD 50,000 and 100,000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) used, in accordance with the Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. Diagnostic test sensitivity and specificity were extracted from published systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and patient utilities were obtained using the Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry from the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health. Final patient states were categorized as either inappropriate or appropriate based on the actual rotator cuff integrity and type of arthroplasty performed. Additionally, to evaluate the real-world impact of intraoperative determination of rotator cuff status, a secondary analysis was performed where all patients indicated for TSA underwent intraoperative rotator cuff examination to determine appropriate implant selection. RESULTS: Selective MRI (ICER of USD 40,964) and MRI for all (ICER of USD 79,182/QALY) were the most cost-effective advanced imaging strategies at a willingness to pay (WTP) of USD 50,000/QALY gained and 100,000/QALY gained, respectively. Overall, quality-adjusted life years gained by advanced soft tissue imaging were minimal: 0.04 quality-adjusted life years gained for MRI for all. Secondary analysis accounting for the ability of the surgeon to alter the treatment plan based on intraoperative rotator cuff evaluation resulted in the no further advanced imaging strategy as the dominant strategy as it was the least costly (USD 23,038 ± 2259) and achieved the greatest health utility (0.99 ± 0.05). The sensitivity analysis found the original model was the most sensitive to the probability of a rotator cuff tear in the population, with the value of advanced imaging increasing as the prevalence increased (rotator cuff tear prevalence greater than 12% makes MRI for all cost-effective at a WTP of USD 50,000/QALY). CONCLUSION: In the case of diagnostic ambiguity based on physical exam, radiographs, and CT alone, having both TSA and RSA available in the operating room appears more cost-effective than obtaining advanced soft tissue imaging preoperatively. However, performing selective MRI to assess rotator cuff integrity to indicate RSA or TSA is cost-effective if surgical preparedness, patient expectations, and implant availability preclude the ability to switch implants intraoperatively. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, economic and decision analysis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Levin, JM; Wickman, J; Lazarides, AL; Cunningham, DJ; Goltz, DE; Mather, RC; Anakwenze, O; Lassiter, TE; Klifto, CS

Published Date

  • June 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 480 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1129 - 1139

PubMed ID

  • 35014977

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9263501

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-1132

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/CORR.0000000000002110


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States