Cost-Effectiveness of Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy for Advanced Heart Failure in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Defne A. Magnetta*, Ja Hyun Kang, Peter D. Wearden, Kenneth J. Smith, Brian Feingold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Destination ventricular assist device therapy (DT-VAD) is well accepted in select adults with medically refractory heart failure (HF) who are not transplant candidates; however, its use in younger patients with progressive diseases is unclear. We sought to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of DT-VAD in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients with advanced HF. We created a Markov-state transition model (5-year horizon) to compare survival, costs, and quality of life (QOL) between medical management and DT-VAD in DMD with advanced HF. Model input parameters were derived from the literature. We used sensitivity analyses to explore uncertainty around model assumptions. DT-VAD had higher costs ($435,602 vs. $125,696), survival (3.13 vs. 0.60 years), and quality-adjusted survival (1.99 vs. 0.26 years) than medical management. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for DT-VAD was $179,086 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). In sensitivity analyses that were widely varied to account for uncertainty in model assumptions, the DT-VAD strategy generally remained more costly and effective than medical management. Only when VAD implantation costs were <$113,142 did the DT-VAD strategy fall below the $100,000/QALY willingness-to-pay threshold commonly considered to be “cost-effective.” In this exploratory analysis, DT-VAD for patients with DMD and advanced HF exceeded societal expectations for cost-effectiveness but had an ICER similar to the accepted practice of DT-VAD in adult HF patients. While more experience and research in this population is needed, our analysis suggests that DT-VAD for advanced HF in DMD should not be dismissed solely based on cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1242-1248
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Heart failure
  • Mechanical circulatory support
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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