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Cost of surgical intervention for reconstructive therapy of HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy

Authors Massella M, Ivanovic J, Bellagamba R, De Vita R, Fracasso L, Tozzi V, Fragola V, Rizzica M, Narciso P

Published 17 May 2011 Volume 2011:5 Pages 223—228


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Peer reviewer comments 2

M Massella¹, J Ivanovic², R Bellagamba², R De Vita³, L Fracasso³, V Tozzi², V Fragola¹, M Rizzica², P Narciso²
¹Istituto Superiore Sanità, Rome, Italy; ²National Institute for Infectious Disease – Lazzaro Spallanzani, Rome, Italy; ³Regina Elena National Cancer Institute of Rome, Italy

Abstract: This study aims to assess direct cost of reconstructive interventions with facial fillers for treatment of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)-associated facial lipoatrophy (FLA). Evaluation was performed on data from patients enrolled in one arm of a comparative study of immediate versus delayed reconstructive treatment of facial lipoatrophy. Median costs were standardized for efficacy, estimated using data reported by physicians and patient reported outcomes. The variations of the results were evaluated with a sensitivity analysis. Evaluation was performed on 66 patients characterized by significant differences in terms of severity of FLA. Total cost resulted of €140,416.15, with a median cost per patient of €2126.04 (interquartile range [IQR]: 1599–2822). Taking into consideration severity of disease, median costs were €1641.67 (IQR: 1326.67–2126.04) and 2557.12 (IQR: 1939.34–2872.04) (P = 0.0) respectively for patients with low and high severity scores at baseline. Significant differences in term of cost-effectiveness ratios were also found between patients with different severity of FLA, and sensitivity analysis showed that these ratios increase with higher severity scores at baseline and vary widely depending on the costs of filler. Although these results cannot be considered representative because of important limitations, the present study suggests the severity of disease as an important determinant of costs.

Keywords: dermal fillers, antiretroviral therapy, lipodystrophic syndrome, HAART

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