International Journal of Preventive Medicine

: 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 67-

Cost–utility analysis for chest CT versus RT-PCR for COVID-19 detection

Won Sriwijitalai1, Viroj Wiwanitkit2,  
1 RVT Medical Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Tropical Medicine, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, China; Department of Community Medicine, Dr. DY Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Won Sriwijitalai
RVT Medical Center, Bangkok

How to cite this article:
Sriwijitalai W, Wiwanitkit V. Cost–utility analysis for chest CT versus RT-PCR for COVID-19 detection.Int J Prev Med 2020;11:67-67

How to cite this URL:
Sriwijitalai W, Wiwanitkit V. Cost–utility analysis for chest CT versus RT-PCR for COVID-19 detection. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Nov 26 ];11:67-67
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

COVID-19 has become an important public health problem internationally in 2020. The disease caused problems in several countries around the world. The infection can result in febrile illness with a respiratory problem.[1] In our previous report, we have shown the limitation on the basic screening tool, temperature monitoring, for mass screening for people coming from risk areas.[2] In clinical practice in preventive medicine, adding to the screening for risk population, the early diagnosis on suspicious cases of COVID-19 is similarly important. In general, common investigative tools include CT lung imaging and Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).[3] Fang et al. reported that the detections rates for initial chest CT and RT-PCR for COVID-19 detection among the clinically suspicious cases were equal to 98% and 71%, respectively.[3] Nevertheless, there is still no study on cost and utility of tools for diagnosis.

Here, the authors performed a medical economics analysis to clarify the cost–utility of CT versus RT-PCR for COVID-19 detection. The primary data on cost are hereby referred to referencing costs for chest CT and RT-PCR by the Thai Ministry of Public Health and presented in USD. For utility, the data in the referencing publication by Fang et al. are directly referred.[3] The number of participants in the referencing data source is equal to 51. The cost–utility analysis is done according to the standard medical economics technique. The cost–utility value is directly calculated as “cost–utility = cost/utility.” According to the study, cost, utility, and cost per utility of chest CT versus RT-PCR for COVID-19 detection are presented in [Table 1]. Based on the analysis, the cost per utility for chest CT is higher. This might imply that RT-PCR tool is still a good choice for early detection of COVID-19 in clinically suspicious cases, especially for the developing countries with limited resource.{Table 1}

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2Sriwijitalai W, Wiwanitkit V. Positive screening for Wuhan novel coronavirus infection at international airport: What's the final diagnosis for positive cases. Int J Prev Med 2020;11:30.
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