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June 1992

Medical Care and Cost Outcomes After Pentoxifylline Treatment for Peripheral Arterial Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pharmacy (Dr Stergachis), Epidemiology (Drs Stergachis and Psaty), Health Services (Dr Psaty), and Medicine (Dr Psaty), University of Washington, Seattle; Battelle Medical Technology Assessment and Policy Research Center, Washington, DC(Drs Sheingold, Luce, and Revicki); and Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Seattle (Dr Stergachis). Dr Stergachis is a Burroughs Wellcome Scholar in Pharmacoepidemiology.

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(6):1220-1224. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400180080012

We assessed the medical outcomes and costs associated with the pharmacologic treatment of patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in a population-based historical cohort study of patients enrolled in a health maintenance organization. For up to 2 years, we compared 58 patients who used therapeutic amounts of pentoxifylline with a comparison group of 112 patients who received a minimal subefficacious trial of pentoxifylline. Medical records data were used to assess and control for the severity of PAD and other potentially confounding factors. Continuous use of a therapeutic amount of pentoxifylline during an initial 120-day period significantly reduced the incidence of PAD-related invasive therapeutic and diagnostic procedures in the first year of follow-up (adjusted relative risk, 0.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.12 to 0.99). However, there were no significant differences in the risk of a PAD-related hospitalization or cost of PAD-related care between continuous pentoxifylline users and the comparison group. Pentoxifylline therapy may reduce the risk of vascular surgery while not increasing the total cost of PAD care.

(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:1220-1224)