Coronary angioplasty versus medical therapy for angina

M J Sculpher, D H Smith, T Clayton, R A Henderson, M J Buxton, S J Pocock, D A Chamberlain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims The second Randomized Intervention Treatment of Angina (RITA-2) trial compares an initial strategy of PTCA with continued medical management in patients with arteriographically proven coronary artery disease. This paper employs resource use data collected in the trial to compare the health service costs of the two strategies over 3 years follow-up.

Methods and Results 1018 patients were randomized, 504 to PTCA and 514 to continued medical management. Health service resource use data were collected prospectively on all patients. Hospital unit costs were estimated in collaboration with five U.K. centres. PTCA patients underwent more subsequent coronary arteriograms, but subsequent (non-randomized) PTCAs were more common in patients randomized to medical management (118 procedures in 102 patients) compared to those randomized to PTCA (73 procedures in 62 patients). The likelihood of undergoing CABG was similar in the two groups. The use of antianginal medications was higher in patients randomized to an initial strategy of medical management. There was an overall mean additional cost per patient over 3 years in patients randomized to PTCA of pound2685 (95% CI pound2074-pound3322).

Conclusions In RITA-2, the cost of an initial strategy of PTCA exceeded the cost of an initial strategy of medical management by 74% over 3 years. (C) 2002 The European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1300
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


  • angina
  • cost analysis
  • percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty

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