urc mondor


Unité de Recherche Clinique Henri Mondor

Early hepatocellular carcinoma detection using magnetic resonance imaging is cost-effective in high-risk patients with cirrhosis.

Nahon P, Najean M, Layese R, Zarca K, Segar LBlampain, Cagnot C, Ganne-Carrié N, N'Kontchou G, Pol S, Chaffaut C, Carrat F, Ronot M, Audureau E, Durand-Zaleski I JHEP Rep. 2022;4(1):100390.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Reinforced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could increase early tumour detection but faces cost-effectiveness issues. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of MRI for the detection of very early HCC (Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer [BCLC] 0) in patients with an annual HCC risk >3%.

METHODS: French patients with compensated cirrhosis included in 4 multicentre prospective cohorts were considered. A scoring system was constructed to identify patients with an annual risk >3%. Using a Markov model, the economic evaluation estimated the costs and life years (LYs) gained with MRI . ultrasound (US) monitoring over a 20-year period. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated by dividing the incremental costs by the incremental LYs.

RESULTS: Among 2,513 patients with non-viral causes of cirrhosis (n = 840) and/or cured HCV (n = 1,489)/controlled HBV infection (n = 184), 206 cases of HCC were detected after a 37-month follow-up. When applied to training (n = 1,658) and validation (n = 855) sets, the construction of a scoring system identified 33.4% and 37.5% of patients with an annual HCC risk >3% (3-year C-Indexes 75 and 76, respectively). In patients with a 3% annual risk, the incremental LY gained with MRI was 0.4 for an additional cost of €6,134, resulting in an ICER of €15,447 per LY. Compared to US monitoring, MRI detected 5x more BCLC 0 HCC. The deterministic sensitivity analysis confirmed the impact of HCC incidence. At a willingness to pay of €50,000/LY, MRI screening had a 100% probability of being cost-effective.

CONCLUSIONS: In the era of HCV eradication/HBV control, patients with annual HCC risk >3% represent one-third of French patients with cirrhosis. MRI is cost-effective in this population and could favour early HCC detection.

LAY SUMMARY: The early identification of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with cirrhosis is important to improve patient outcomes. Magnetic resonance imaging could increase early tumour detection but is more expensive and less accessible than ultrasound (the standard modality for surveillance). Herein, using a simple score, we identified a subgroup of patients with cirrhosis (accounting for >one-third), who were at increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma and for whom the increased expense of magnetic resonance imaging would be justified by the potential improvement in outcomes.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhepr.2021.100390