Adenotonsillectomy or watchful waiting in patients with mild to moderate symptoms of throat infections or adenotonsillar hypertrophy - A Randomized comparison of costs and effects

Buskens, E., van Staaij, B., van den Akker, J., Hoes, A. W. & Schilder, A. G. M., Nov-2007, In : ARCHIVES OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD & NECK SURGERY. 133, 11, p. 1083-1088 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Erik Buskens
  • Birgit van Staaij
  • Jet van den Akker
  • Arno W. Hoes
  • Anne G. M. Schilder

Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of adenotonsillectomy compared with watchful waiting in Dutch children.

Design: Economic evaluation along with an open, randomized, controlled trial.

Setting: Multicenter, including 21 general and 3 university hospitals in the Netherlands.

Participants: Three hundred children aged 2 to 8 years were selected for adenotonsillectomy according to routine medical practice. Excluded were children who had frequent throat infections and those with suspected obstructive sleep apnea.

Main Outcome Measures: Incremental cost-effectiveness in terms of costs per episode of fever, throat infection, and upper respiratory tract infection avoided.

Results: Annual costs incurred in the adenotonsillectomy group were is an element of 803 (the average exchange rate for the US dollar in 2002 was $1.00 = is an element of 1.1, except toward the end of 2002 when $0.95 =is an element of 100) and is an element of 551. in the watchful waiting group (46% increase). During a median follow-up of 22 months, surgery compared with watchful waiting reduced the number of episodes of fever and throat infections by 0.21 per person-year (95% confidence interval, -0.12 to 0.54 and 0.06 to 0.36, respectively) and upper respiratory tract infections by 0.53 (95% confidence interval, 0.08 to 0.97) episodes. The incremental costs per episode avoided were is an element of 1136, is an element of 1187, and is an element of 465; respectively.

Conclusions: In children undergoing adenotonsillectomy because of mild to moderate symptoms of throat infections or adenotonsillar hypertrophy, surgery resulted in a significant increase in costs without realizing relevant clinical benefit. Subgroups of children in whom surgery would be cost-effective may be identified in further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1088
Number of pages6
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2007



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