Health Technology Brief

supporting sound, evidence-based decision making

HT Briefs are concise technology assessment reports that provide an overall evaluation of the potential clinical and economic impact of new technologies
that are in the early stages of dissemination or of existing technologies that are being used for new applications.

View a sampling of our HT Briefs.

Esketamine (Spravato) for Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder

November 6, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Major depressive disorder (MDD), a serious and life-threatening condition, is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States and a leading cause of disability worldwide. MDD is a chronic disease associated with high rates of morbidity and excess mortality. Approximately 30% to 40% of patients fail to respond to first-line treatment, including oral antidepressants or psychotherapy. Treatment resistant MDD is typically defined as depression that does not respond to at least 2 attempts of treatment of adequate dose and duration with antidepressants; however, there is no official consensus regarding the definition. Technology Description: The drug-device combination comprises esketamine...

Cyanoacrylate Embolization (VenaSeal Closure System) for the Treatment of Varicose Veins

October 31, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Varicose veins are dilated, thickened, elongated, and twisted blood vessels that may appear thread-like or as grape-like clusters under the skin, most often on the legs. They are manifestations of chronic venous insufficiency, a condition characterized by dysfunction of the valves in veins leading to increased blood pressure, blood pooling, and venous reflux in affected areas. Varicose veins may be asymptomatic, or the associated venous insufficiency may cause heaviness, fatigue, aching, burning, throbbing, numbness, cramping, swelling, itching, rash, discoloration, and ulceration of the affected limb. In addition, risk is increased for thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Technology Description: The...

Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation for Preservation of Fertility in Patients Undergoing Gonadotoxic Cancer Treatment

October 1, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Advances in the technology used for the treatment of cancer have greatly improved survivorship rates in women with cancer. However, the cytotoxic effects of radiation and chemotherapy can result in premature ovarian failure and infertility, which may affect the estimated 25% of female cancer survivors of reproductive age. Estimates suggest that exposure to gonadotoxic cancer treatment leads to adverse pregnancy outcomes in up to 80% to 90% of patients. Technology Description: Ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC) involves harvesting and freezing ovarian tissue, thus preserving oocytes in primordial follicles located in the ovarian cortex. The ovarian tissue can subsequently be autotransplanted...

Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) for Treatment of Glioblastoma in Adults

September 20, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most prevalent primary malignant intracranial tumor, representing as much as 16% of primary brain tumors. GBM is a fast-growing aggressive glioma that develops from glial cells in the brain. The overall prognosis is poor and even with the best standard of care, the median survival for adults with GBM ranges from 11 to 15 months and 5 to 7 months for recurrent disease. The current standard care for newly diagnosed GBM is surgery, followed by chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ) in combination with radiation therapy, and then ongoing maintenance treatment with TMZ. Virtually all patients with...

iStent Inject Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent (Glaukos Corp.) as a Standalone Treatment for Open-Angle Glaucoma

September 17, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve characterized by loss of retinal ganglion cells, remodeling of the lamina cribrosa, structural changes to the nerve, elevated IOP, and progressive, irreversible loss of vision leading to blindness. Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is associated with partial blockage of the flow of aqueous humor.  Technology Description: The iStent inject consists of 2 heparin-coated titanium multidirectional stents. The single-piece stent is 230 micrometers (µm) in diameter and 360 µm in height. The iStent inject stent design allows for the rear flange to reside in the anterior chamber and the head to reside in Schlemm's canal, with...