Lead-I ECG for detecting atrial fibrillation in patients with an irregular pulse using single time point testing: a systematic review and economic evaluation

Duarte R, Stainthorpe A, Greenhalgh J, Richardson M, Nevitt S, Mahon J, Kotas E, Boland A, Thom H, Marshall T, Hall M, Takwoingi Y
Record ID 32018000294
Authors' objectives: To assess the diagnostic test accuracy, clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of using single time point lead-I ECG devices for the detection of AF in people presenting to primary care with relevant signs or symptoms, and who have an irregular pulse compared with using manual pulse palpation (MPP) followed by a 12-lead ECG in primary or secondary care.
Authors' results and conclusions: Results: No studies were identified that evaluated the use of lead-I ECG devices for patients with signs or symptoms of AF. Therefore, the diagnostic accuracy and clinical impact results presented are derived from an asymptomatic population (used as a proxy for people with signs or symptoms of AF). The summary sensitivity of lead-I ECG devices was 93.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 86.2% to 97.4%] and summary specificity was 96.5% (95% CI 90.4% to 98.8%). One study reported limited clinical outcome data. Acceptability of lead-I ECG devices was reported in four studies, with generally positive views. The de novo economic model yielded incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. The results of the pairwise analysis show that all lead-I ECG devices generated ICERs per QALY gained below the £20,000–30,000 threshold. Kardia Mobile (AliveCor Ltd, Mountain View, CA, USA) is the most cost-effective option in a full incremental analysis. Conclusions: Single time point lead-I ECG devices for the detection of AF in people with signs or symptoms of AF and an irregular pulse appear to be a cost-effective use of NHS resources compared with MPP followed by a 12-lead ECG in primary or secondary care, given the assumptions used in the base-case model.
Authors' methods: The systematic review methods followed published guidance. Two reviewers screened the search results (database inception to April 2018), extracted data and assessed the quality of the included studies. Summary estimates of diagnostic accuracy were calculated using bivariate models. An economic model consisting of a decision tree and two cohort Markov models was developed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of lead-I ECG devices.
Authors' identified further reserach: Studies assessing how the use of lead-I ECG devices in this population affects the number of people diagnosed with AF when compared with current practice would be useful.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2020
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Cardiology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Point-of-Care Testing
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Diagnosis
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
Contact Name: journals.library@nihr.ac.uk
Contact Email: journals.library@nihr.ac.uk
Copyright: 2009 Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO
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