Objective: To investigate in a prospective randomised study both long term clinical effects and cost effectiveness of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) with or without intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) guidance.
Methods: 108 male patients with stable angina referred for PCI of a significant coronary lesion were randomly assigned to IVUS guided PCI or conventional PCI. Individual accumulated costs of the entire follow up period were calculated and compared in the randomisation groups. Effectiveness of treatment was measured by freedom from major adverse cardiac events.
Results: Cost effectiveness of IVUS guided PCI that was noted at six months was maintained and even accentuated at long term follow up (median 2.5 years). The cumulated cost level was found to be lower for the IVUS guided group, with a cumulated cost of €163 672 in the IVUS guided group versus €313 706 in the coronary angiography group (p = 0.01). Throughout the study, mean cost per day was lower in the IVUS guided PCI group (€2.7 v €5.2; p = 0.01). In the IVUS group, 78% were free from major adverse cardiac events versus 59% in the coronary angiography group (p = 0.04) with an odds ratio of 2.5 in favour of IVUS guidance.
Conclusion: IVUS guidance results in continued improvement of long term clinical outcome and cost effectiveness. The results of this study suggest that IVUS guidance may be used more liberally in PCI.