Cost-minimization analysis of intravenous adenosine and dipyridamole in thallous chloride TI 201 SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging

Daniel E. Hilleman, B. Daniel Lucas, Syed M. Mohiuddin, M. Jeffrey Holmberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To conduct a cost-minimization analysis of intravenous adenosine and intravenous dipyridamole in thallous chloride TI 201 single- photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging. DESIGN: A retrospective, open-label, cost-minimization analysis. SETTING: University hospital, outpatient nuclear medicine department. PATIENTS: Eighty-three patients undergoing dipyridamole TI 201 SPECT and 166 patients undergoing adenosine TI 201 SPECT. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A cost- minimization analysis was conducted using a direct cost accounting approach estimating institutional costs. For the purpose of this study, sensitivity and specificity between adenosine SPECT and dipyridamole SPECT were assumed to be identical. Key costs evaluated included acquisition, administration, monitoring, treatment of adverse effects, follow-up care, and repeat tests. RESULTS: Adenosine increased heart rate and lowered blood pressure to a significantly greater extent than dipyridamole. The frequency of adverse reactions was not significantly different (p = 0.103) between adenosine (1.64 ± 1.32 per patient) and dipyridamole (1.36 ± 1.23 per patient). The frequency of prolonged and late-onset adverse effects was significantly greater for dipyridamole than for adenosine (p <0.001). The frequency of adverse events requiting medical intervention was statistically greater for dipyridamole (24%) compared with adenosine (5%) (p <0.00001). Total cost was significantly less for adenosine ($378.50 ± $128.20 per patient) compared with dipyridamole ($485.60 ± $230.40). Although adenosine had a significantly greater acquisition cost than dipyridamole (p <0.0001), administration, monitoring, and adverse reaction costs were significantly less for adenosine than for dipyridamole. CONCLUSIONS: The cost of using dipyridamole is significantly greater than the cost of using adenosine despite adenosine's high acquisition cost. Adenosine is less expensive to use because of lower administration costs, monitoring costs, and adverse effect costs. Adenosine should be the agent of choice for pharmacologic vasodilation in the setting of myocardial perfusion imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)974-979
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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