Cost-effectiveness of screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography: A systematic literature review

Walter Ricciardi, Stefania Boccia, Anna Puggina, Athanasios Broumas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: On 31 December 2013, the US Preventive Services Task Force rated low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for lung cancer screening as level 'B' recommendation. Yet, lung cancer screening implementation remains controversial, particularly when considering its cost-effectiveness. The aim of this work is to investigate the cost-effectiveness of LDCT screening program for lung cancer by performing a systematic literature review. Methods: We reviewed the published economic evaluations of LDCT in lung cancer screening. MEDLINE, ISI Web of Science and Cochrane databases were searched for literature retrieval up to 31 March 2015. Inclusion criteria included: studies reporting an original full economic evaluation; reports presenting the outcomes as Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) gained or as Life Years Gained. Results: Nine economic evaluations met the inclusion criteria. All the cost-effectiveness analyses included high risk populations for lung cancer and compared the use of annual LDCT screening with no screening. Seven studies reported an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio below the threshold of US$ 100 000 per QALY gained. Conclusions: Cost-effectiveness of LDCT screening for lung cancer is an highly debatable issue. Currently available economic evaluations suggest the cost-effectiveness of LDCT for lung cancer screening compared with no screening and indicate that the implementation of LDCT should be considered when planning a national lung cancer screening program. Additional economic evaluations, especially from a societal perspective and in an EU-setting, are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


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