Birth of a healthy child after pre-implantation genetic screening of embryos from sperm of a man with nonmosaic Down syndrome
OBJECTIVE To compare the cost and benefits of prenatal diagnosis for Down syndrome using the British and American approaches. METHODS This cost-benefit analysis was based on a decision-analytic approach. The British strategy included screening by a first-trimester ultrasound at 10-14 weeks for nuchal translucency thickness, and the American strategy included only second-trimester screening by using maternal age and maternal serum screening. The key probabilities of the decision-tree analysis and all cost estimates were based on American standards. The best scenario of the British strategy assumed ultrasound nuchal translucency thickness sensitivity (for detecting Down syndrome) of 80% and a false-positive rate of 5% and the worst scenario assumed a sensitivity of 50% and a false-positive rate of 10%. The results were expressed in annual costs based on approximately 4 million births per year in the United States. RESULTS As compared with do-nothing, the American strategy was found to allow savings of approximately $96 million per year and the best scenario for the British strategy was savings of approximately $5 million per year. The financial costs of the British and American strategies would be comparable only if the first-trimester ultrasound had a sensitivity of 80% and a false-positive rate of 5% in detecting Down syndrome. CONCLUSION The British strategy does not appear to be economically beneficial in the United States even under the most ideal scenarios of ultrasound accuracy.