Although evidence suggests that a higher hemodialysis dose and/or frequency may be associated with improved outcomes, the cost-effectiveness of a daily hemodialysis strategy for critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) is unknown.We developed a Markov model of the cost, quality of life, survival, and incremental cost-effectiveness of daily hemodialysis, compared with alternate-day hemodialysis, for patients with AKI in the intensive care unit (ICU). We employed a societal perspective with a lifetime analytic time horizon. We modeled the efficacy of daily hemodialysis as a reduction in the relative risk of death on the basis of data reported in the 2004 clinical trial published by Schiffl et al. We performed 1- and 2-way sensitivity analyses across cost, efficacy, and utility input variables. The main outcome measure was cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY).In the base case for a 60-year-old man, daily hemodialysis was projected to add 2.14 QALYs and $10,924 in cost. We found that the cost-effectiveness of daily hemodialysis compared with alternate-day hemodialysis was $5084 per QALY gained. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio became less favorable (>$50,000 per QALY gained) when the maintenance hemodialysis rate of the daily hemodialysis group was varied to more than 27% and when the difference in 14-day postdischarge mortality between the alternatives was varied to less than 0.5%.Daily hemodialysis is a cost-effective strategy compared with alternate-day hemodialysis for patients with severe AKI in the ICU.
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