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Budget impact of using midnight salivary cortisol in the diagnosis of hypercortisolism

AuthorsLeón-Justel, Antonio; Mangas, Miguel A.; Infante Fontán, Rocío; Castro Luque, Jovanna; Venegas Moreno, Eva; Madrazo Atutxa, Ainara; Herrera, María T.; Martín-Rodríguez, Juan Francisco; Soto, Alfonso; Leal Cerro, Alfonso
Issue Date2011
CitationClinica Chimica Acta 412(23-24): 2248-2253 (2011)
Abstract[Background] A single midnight serum cortisol (MSC) test has been reported to possess the best sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing Cushing's syndrome (CS). However, this test requires patient hospitalization, making it costly. This paper aims to compare the hospital budget impact and accuracy of using midnight salivary cortisol (MSVC), as opposed to MSC, in the diagnosis of hypercortisolism.
[Methods] 77 patients with at least two high urinary free cortisol (UFC) values (>360 nmol/24. h) were selected from 611 patients with clinical symptoms of CS. The costs of the method to confirm the diagnosis of hypercortisolism was calculated comparing Option A using MSC (UFCx2, low-dose dexamethasone suppression test [LDDST]) that requires patient hospitalization versus Option B using MSVC (UFCx2, LDDST) in which the evaluation is done outside the Hospital. A budget impact analysis for one year was developed, and a sensitivity analysis in different scenarios was performed. Reproducibility and diagnostic performance of MSVC and MSC were also measured.
[Results] Salivary cortisol is a sound analytical method for evaluating free serum cortisol due to its classification accuracy, good imprecision, linearity, and stability. AUCROC comparison between MSVC and MSC shows no significant differences. The substitution of the MSC for MSVC in our hospital could save between €16,762 and €132,804 in one year.
[Conclusions] The use of MSVC in the diagnosis of hypercortisolism can result in a substantial decrease in the budget impact, without losing diagnosis accuracy and reliability, a significant advantage considering the current emphasis on reducing the financial burden of health care. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.cca.2011.08.013
issn: 0009-8981
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