Clinical Edge

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MRI- vs CT-based Cervical Brachytherapy Costs

Brachytherapy; ePub 2018 Jan 10; Bajaj, et al

MRI-based cervical brachytherapy was less costly than CT-based brachytherapy, according to a study involving 40 individuals. Participants with Medicare underwent either MRI-based (4 fractions delivered in 2 implants; n=20) or CT-based (5 fractions delivered in 5 implants: n=20) high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Investigators looked at physician, hospital, and overall costs. Among the results:

  • MRI-based brachytherapy cost a median of ~$14,250.
  • CT-based brachytherapy with conscious sedation cost ~$18,300.
  • CT-based with deep sedation by an anesthesiologist cost ~$27,700.

The authors noted that their results show that cost does not need to be a barrier for MRI-based cervical brachytherapy, especially when delivering multiple fractions with the same application.


Bajaj A, Harmon G, Weaver J, et al. A Medicare cost analysis of MRI- versus CT-based high-dose-rate brachytherapy of the cervix: Can MRI-based planning be less costly? [Published online ahead of print January 10, 2018]. Brachytherapy. doi:10.1016/j.brachy.2017.11.020.