Intermittent pneumatic compression is a cost-effective method of orthopedic postsurgical venous thromboembolism prophylaxis

Rhodri Saunders, Anthony J. Comerota, Audrey Ozols, Rafael Torrejon Torres, Kwok Ming Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major complication after lower-limb arthroplasty that increases costs and reduces patient’s quality of life. Using anticoagulants for 10–35 days following arthroplasty is the standard prophylaxis, but its cost-effectiveness after accounting for bleeding complications remains unproven. Methods: A comprehensive, clinical model of VTE was created using the incidences, clinical effects (including bleeding), and costs of VTE and prophylaxis from randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and large observational studies. Over 50 years, the total health care costs and clinical impact of three prophylaxis strategies, that are as follows, were compared: low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) alone, intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC), and IPC with LMWH (IPC+LMWH). The cost per VTE event that was avoided and cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained in both the US and Australian health care settings were calculated. Results: For every 2,000 patients, the expected number of VTE and major bleeding events with LMWH were 151 and 6 in the USA and 160 and 46 in Australia, resulting in a mean of 11.3 and 9.1 QALYs per patient, respectively. IPC reduced the expected VTE events by 11 and 8 in the USA and Australia, respectively, compared to using LMWH alone. IPC reduced major bleeding events compared to LMWH, preventing 1 event in the US and 7 in Australia. IPC+LMWH only reduced VTE events. Neither intervention substantially impacted QALYs but both increased QALYs versus LMWH. IPC was cost-effective followed by IPC+LMWH. Conclusion: IPC and IPC+LMWH are cost-effective versus LMWH after lower-limb arthroplasty in the USA and Australia. The choice between IPC and IPC+LMWH depends on expected bleeding risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Intermittent pneumatic compression is a cost-effective method of orthopedic postsurgical venous thromboembolism prophylaxis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this