The Cost-Utility Analysis of PET-Scan in Diagnosis and Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma in Iran


avatar Ali Akbari Sari 1 , avatar Hamid Ravaghi 2 , * , avatar Mohammadreza Mobinizadeh 3 , * , avatar Sima Sarvari 4

Deptartment of Health Management and Economics, Knowledge Utilization Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Department of Health Service Management, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Health Service Management, School of Management and Economics, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Department of Medicine, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China
Corresponding Authors:

how to cite: Akbari Sari A, Ravaghi H, Mobinizadeh M, Sarvari S. The Cost-Utility Analysis of PET-Scan in Diagnosis and Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma in Iran. Innov J Radiol. 2013;10(2): 61-7.



PET scan is a non-invasive, complex and expensive medical imaging technology that is normally used for the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases including lung cancer.


The purpose of this study is to assess the cost effectiveness of this technology in the diagnosis and treatment of non- small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) in Iran.

Materials and Methods:

The main electronic databases including The Cochrane Library and Medline were searched to identify available evidence about the performance and effectiveness of technology. A standard decision tree model with seven strategies was used to perform the economic evaluation. Retrieved studies and expert opinion were used to estimate the cost of each treatment strategy in Iran. The costs were divided into three categories including capital costs (depreciation costs of buildings and equipment), staff costs and other expenses (including cost of consumables, running and maintenance costs). The costs were estimated in both IR-Rials and US-Dollars with an exchange rate of 10.000 IR Rials per one US Dollar according to the exchange rate in 2008.


The total annual running cost of a PET scan was about 8850 to 13000 million Rials, (0.9 to 1.3 million US$). The average cost of performing a PET scan varied between 3 and 4.5 million Rials (300 to 450US$). The strategies 3 (mediastinoscopy alone) and 7 (mediastinoscopy after PET scan) were more cost-effective than other strategies, especially when the result of the CT-scan performed before PET scan was negative.


The technical performance of PET scan is significantly higher than similar technologies for staging and treatment of NSCLC. In addition, it might slightly improve the treatment process and lead to a small level of increase in the quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained by these patients making it cost-effective for the treatment of NSCLC.

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