Introduction. The relative efficacy and safety of fondaparinux and argatroban in the management of suspected heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) have been documented. We conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis of both agents in terms of cost and adverse events averted.

Methods. We developed a two-armed decision tree model to simulate a cohort of patients with suspected or confirmed HIT managed with argatroban or fondaparinux, using published efficacy data and probabilities of developing HIT-related VTE or major bleeding. The primary base case analysis considered our institutional cost while the secondary analysis used the Average Wholesale Price. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA) was performed to confirm findings and one-way sensitivity analysis to evaluate additional scenarios.

Results. In the primary base case analysis, fondaparinux dominated argatroban treatment as it was less expensive in managing suspected HIT ($154 vs. $2,064) and more effective in terms of adverse events averted (0.998878 vs. 0.995739). This was confirmed in PSA in terms of both cost ($154 vs. $1,999) and adverse events averted (0.9988711 vs. 0.9957212). Sensitivity analysis showed that the total costs of argatroban would never be less than fondaparinux based on our assumptions. In the secondary analysis, fondaparinux was less expensive ($362 vs. $3722) and more effective in terms of adverse event averted (0.998878 vs. 0.995739). The PSA confirmed these findings both in terms of cost ($343 vs. $3477) adverse events averted. (0.9988711 vs. 0.9957212).

Conclusions. The cost savings from a once-daily SC fondaparinux injection with limited laboratory monitoring are more advantageous than IV argatroban infusion that requires continuous titration.


Off Label Use: Fondaparinux is used as "off-label" for the management of patients with suspected or confirmed HIT.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.