Background: Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA) is a useful tool to detect the vertebral fracture (VF) with low cost and radiation exposure. We aimed to compare screening strategies including VFA and spine radiography (X-ray) for detecting VF in terms of clinical effectiveness, cost and radiation exposure. Methods: Three screening strategies: 1) X-ray following VFA, 2) VFA only, and 3) X-ray only were compared using a Markov model based on administrative data from South Korea in a population aged ≥50 years. We compared the incidence of new VFs, cost-effectiveness of reducing new VFs and radiation exposure in each strategy. Results: The incidence of new VFs was reduced in all screening strategies compared to no screening: 29.4% for women and 12.5% for men in both X-ray following the VFA and VFA only strategies and 35% for women and 17.5% for men in the X-ray only strategy. The X-ray following VFA strategy had the lowest cost, followed by the X-ray only, and VFA only strategies. The radiation doses for X-ray only were 2,647-2,989 μSv and 3,253-3,398 μSv higher than in the X-ray following VFA and VFA only strategies. The new VF prevention effect was greater in women, and more prominent in older people (women ≥ 70, men ≥ 80) than people ≥ 50 years. Conclusions: The X-ray following VFA strategy is a cost-effective option for screening prevalent VF to prevent new VF in people aged ≥50 years due to its high effectiveness, lowest cost, and least radiation exposure.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was completed as part of the health technology assessment project (no. NA-2013-007) funded by the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency in South Korea.
© 2018 The Author(s).
- Cost effectiveness
- Diagnostic imaging
- Spinal fracture