Pipeline Endovascular Device vs Stent-Assisted Coiling in Small Unruptured Aneurysms: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Ajay Malhotra, Xiao Wu, Waleed Brinjikji, Timothy Miller, Charles C. Matouk, Pina Sanelli, Dheeraj Gandhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Both stent-assisted coiling (SAC) and flow diversion with the Pipeline Embolization device (PED; Medtronic Inc) have been shown to be safe and clinically effective for treatment of small (<10 mm) unruptured aneurysms. However, the economic impact of these different techniques has not been established. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the cost-effectiveness between stent-assisted coiling and flow diversion using PED, including procedural costs, long-term outcomes, and aneurysm recurrence. METHODS: A decision-analytical study was performed with Markov modeling methods to simulate patients undergoing SAC or PED for treatment for unruptured aneurysms of sizes 5 and 7 mm. Input probabilities were derived from prior literature, and 1-way, 2-way, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSA) were performed. RESULTS: In base case calculation and PSA, PED was the dominant strategy for both the size groups, with and without consideration of indirect costs. One-way sensitivity analyses show that the conclusion remained robust when varying the retreatment rate of SAC from 0% to 50%, and only changes when the retreatment rate of PED > 49%. PED remained the more cost-effective strategy when the morbidity and mortality of PED increased by <55% and when those of SAC decreased by <37%. SAC only became cost-effective when the total cost of PED is >$73000 more expensive than the total cost of SAC. CONCLUSION: With increasing use of PED for treatment of small unruptured anterior circulation aneurysms, our study indicates that PED is cost-effective relative to stent coiling irrespective of aneurysm size. This is due to lower aneurysm recurrence rate, as well as better health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1010-E1019
JournalClinical neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Aneurysms
  • Coiling
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Flow diversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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