AIMS: This study aimed to estimate the cost of platelet transfusion in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD)-associated thrombocytopenia undergoing an elective procedure in the United States.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted in two parts: development of a conceptual framework identifying direct, indirect and intangible costs of platelet transfusion, followed by the estimation of the total cost of platelet transfusion in patients with CLD-associated thrombocytopenia before an elective procedure in the United States using the conceptual framework and cost data obtained from a literature search. The cost of the entire care required to raise a patient's platelet count before the procedure was considered.
RESULTS: The final conceptual framework included the costs of generating the supply of platelets, the platelet transfusion itself, adverse events associated with platelet transfusion and refractoriness to platelet transfusion. When costs were accounted for in all the framework cost categories, the total direct cost of a platelet transfusion in a patient with CLD and associated thrombocytopenia was estimated to be in the range of $5258 to $13,117 (2017 US dollars) in the United States. The largest portion of costs was incurred by the transfusion event itself ($3723 to $4436) and the cost of refractoriness ($874 to $7578), which included the opportunity cost of a delayed procedure and subsequent platelet transfusions with human leukocyte antigen-matched platelets.
LIMITATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS: Although we were unable to include all cost components identified in the conceptual framework in our total cost estimate, thus likely underestimating the true total cost, and despite the data gaps and challenges limiting our estimate of the full cost of a platelet transfusion in patients with CLD-associated thrombocytopenia undergoing an elective procedure in the United States, this study outlines a comprehensive conceptual framework for estimating the cost elements of a platelet transfusion in these patients.