1780. Routine Cryptococcal Antigen Screening in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients: Is it Time to Save Lives and Money?
Session: Oral Abstract Session: The Fungus Among-us - Clinical Advances
Saturday, October 7, 2017: 9:48 AM
Room: 01AB
Background: Cryptococcosis affects 1 in 270 solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients with high mortality. In HIV-infected patients, cryptococcal antigen (CRAG) is detectable in blood weeks to months before symptomatic infection and screening is recommended. No screening guidelines exist for SOT recipients.

Methods: We performed a cost effectiveness analysis of CRAG screening amongst SOT recipients. We estimated costs of screening from Medicare reimbursement of $16.49 for CPT 87899 (Infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay). We determined the number at risk from a large cohort of 42,634 adult SOT recipients from ICD-9 CM billing data from HCUP State Inpatient Databases of Florida (2006–2012), New York (2006–2011), and California (2004–2010). Cost of screening was compared with the cost of inpatient hospitalization.

Results: Among 42,634 adult SOT recipients, 158 (0.37%) developed cryptococcosis at a median time of 15.5 months (range 0.1 -80) after transplant. During the 43 month follow up, there was approximately 2.5% annual mortality. The estimated cost of hospital care for cryptococcal meningitis per person is approximately $70,000 in 2016 with current explosive cost of flucytosine at ~$29,000 per 2 weeks. Thus, the total estimated cost of hospital care in the cohort would be $11.0 million in 2016. In comparison, the cost to screen all 42,634 SOT recipients every three months would be $8.8 million. If CRAG screening could detect 75% of asymptomatic cryptococcal antigenemia prior to symptomatic disease requiring prolonged hospitalization, it would be approximately cost neutral ($11.5 million), and even cost saving if above 80% of hospitalizations are averted. Alternatively stated, for every one hospitalization avoided, 4245 persons could be CRAG screened for similar cost and likely better outcome.

Conclusion: Assuming the ability of routine screening to identify 75% of patients who would develop invasive cryptococcosis ; CRAG screening every 3 months among SOT recipients likely would be at least cost neutral to the healthcare system. Antecedent duration of cryptococcal antigenemia prior to symptomatic disease in Non-HIV/SOT cohorts to inform optimal screening intervals should be further studied. Prospective SOT cohorts should validate this approach to save lives in a cost-effective manner.

Ige George, MD, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, Radha Rajasingham, MD, Infectious Diseases & International Medicine University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, William G. Powderly, MD, FIDSA, Division of Infectious Diseases, Washington University, St. Louis, MO and David Boulware, MD, MPH, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


I. George, None

R. Rajasingham, None

W. G. Powderly, None

D. Boulware, None

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