Purpose: Pancreatic cystic neoplasms (PCN) management consists of non-invasive imaging studies (CT, MRI), with a high resource burden. We aimed to determine the cost-effectiveness of including contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in the management of PCN without risk features. Materials and methods: By using a decision-tree model in a hypothetical cohort of patients, we compared management strategy including CEUS with the latest Fukuoka consensus, European and Italian guidelines. Our strategy for BD-IPMN/MCN < 1 cm includes 1 CEUS annually. For those between 1 and 2 cm, it includes CEUS 4 times/year during the first year, then 3 times/year for 4 years and then annually. For those between 2 and 3 cm, it comprises MRI twice/year during the first one, then alternating 2 CEUS and 1 MRI yearly. Results: CEUS surveillance is the dominant strategy in all scenarios. CEUS surveillance average cost is 1,984.72 €, mean QALY 11.79 and mean ICER 181.99 €. If willingness to pay is 30,000 €, 45% of patients undergone CEUS surveillance of BDIPMN/MCN < 1 cm would be within budget. Conclusion: Guidelines strategies are very effective, but costs are relatively high from a policy perspective. CEUS surveillance may be a cost-effective strategy yielding a nearly high QALYs, an acceptable ICER, and a lower cost.
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