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.

The Clinical Utility of Navigated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Presurgical Planning for Brain Tumors

May 18, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Approximately 26,070 primary malignant and 53,200 nonmalignant brain tumors will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017, with an estimated 16,947 deaths in the United States in 2017 attributable to primary malignant brain and central nervous system tumors. Surgery is typically the treatment of choice for most brain tumors, with a goal to remove as much of the tumor as possible while preserving the patient’s neurological function. The specific neurological risks of brain surgery are related to the location of the tumor and can include memory problems, speech difficulty, paralysis, and abnormal balance or coordination. Description of Technology: Navigated transcranial...

Neodymium-Doped Yttrium Aluminium Garnet Laser Treatment for Onychomycosis

April 27, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail. Onychomycosis can cause discomfort, pain, and disfigurement leading to serious physical and occupational limitations. Onychomycosis is a deep-seated, recalcitrant condition with a 40% to 70% recurrence rate, which includes either relapse or reinfection. Oral antifungals are the standard of care because topical application has limited effectiveness due to the difficulty of nail penetration. However, systemic antifungals are associated with hepatic toxicity and drug interactions. Additionally, topical or oral antifungal treatment must be maintained for several months for maximal effectiveness, and patient compliance is a common issue. Description of Technology: Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Nd:YAG) lasers typically...

SurgiMend (Integra Life Sciences) for Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction

April 27, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Breast reconstruction (BR) may pose a challenge if the patient’s skin-pectoral muscle pocket cannot adequately support tissue expansion or hold the expander or implant in place. Various options exist for reinforcing coverage of this muscle, including autologous transplant of tissue from the latissimus dorsi and the blunt dissection and elevation of portions of the serratus anterior, rectus abdominis, or external oblique muscles; however, these options are associated with additional morbidity. An approach to improve outcomes following BR involves the use of an acellular dermal matrix (ADM) mesh-like material prepared from human cadaver or animal sources for single- and double-stage reconstruction...

Laminotomy for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

April 6, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis is most often associated with neurogenic intermittent claudication, which is caused by structural narrowing of the spinal canal. Clinical symptoms include leg and back pain, muscular weakness, sensory disturbances,or difficulty walking. If lower back pain does not respond adequately to conservative treatments, surgery may be required. Description of Technology: Laminotomy refers to partial removal of the lamina—a thin, bony layer that covers the back side of a vertebra and protects the spinal canal and the spinal cord. Unlike laminectomy, laminotomy preserves the midline structures and involves partial removal of the lamina, and may also involve some ligament removal....

Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (S-ICD) for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death

March 30, 2017 Health Technology Brief

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) can result from ventricular tachyarrhythmia, which includes ventricular tachycardia (VT), ventricular fibrillation, and infrequently, torsade de pointes, a form of VT. These are rapid and/or irregular heart rates due to interruption of normal electrical impulses that regulate heartbeat originating in the heart ventricles that can cause inadequate blood pumping. Description of Technology: The Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (S-ICD) System (Boston Scientific Corp.)  differs from a transvenous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (TV-ICD) device because its leads are placed subcutaneously, rather than transvenously. The S-ICD System electrode is inserted under the skin and implanted outside of the rib cage in...