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.

Eculizumab (Soliris) for Treatment of Refractory Generalized Myasthenia Gravis

December 11, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare autoimmune disorder that impacts the neuromuscular system, leading to muscle weakness, particularly affecting the nasopharyngeal, limb, and respiratory muscles. MG is a progressive disease caused by autoantibodies that interfere with the transmission of acetylcholine from nerve endings to muscle cells. It is estimated that 36,000 to 60,000 people in the United States have MG. The current estimates of the mortality rate range from 0.06 to 0.89 deaths per million person-years. Technology Description: Eculizumab is a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody that is used for the treatment of generalized MG in adults who are anti-acetylcholine...

Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation (LINX Reflux Management System) for Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

December 6, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder in which the normal function of the lower esophageal sphincter at the junction of the distal esophagus and stomach fails, allowing gastric fluid to reflux into the esophagus. Estimates suggest the prevalence of GERD in the United States ranges from 18% to 28%, with up to 40% of patients with GERD exhibiting an inadequate response to first-line treatment with pharmacotherapy. Technology Description: Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) with the LINX Reflux Management System includes an expandable, circumferential bracelet of magnetic beads that is implanted via laparoscope around the external distal esophagus at the...

Ganglion Impar Block or Radiofrequency Thermocoagulation for the Treatment of Chronic Coccydynia

December 4, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Coccydynia is an uncommon painful condition in the tailbone area (coccyx). While a majority of cases resolve with or without conservative management within months, a small group of patients find coccydynia painful and debilitating. Technology Description: Therapeutic intervention to the ganglion impar may be performed with a ganglion impar block (GIB) or radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT). A GIB is typically performed by fluoroscopically injecting bupivacaine, saline, and methylprednisolone. Ganglion impar RFT is performed by fluoroscopically positioning a radiofrequency needle and ablating the nerve at 80°C for 80 to 90 seconds. Controversy: Coccydynia is a rare condition, with a majority of patients...

Magnetically Controlled Growing Rods for Treatment of Early-Onset Scoliosis

November 27, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Early-onset scoliosis (EOS) affects skeletally immature patients younger than 10 years of age. Patients with EOS are still undergoing development, which can place them at risk for progression of the deformity. If EOS progresses to a severe state, the spine can crowd the space within the chest cavity, and can cause thoracic insufficiency syndrome (TIS), where the chest cavity (thorax) cannot support normal breathing or lung growth. Technology Description: Magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGR), such as the Magnetic Expansion Control (MAGEC) System, are a distraction-based system that is designed to avoid the repeated anesthetics and open surgical lengthening that...

Percutaneous Sacroplasty for Treatment of Sacral Insufficiency Fractures

November 12, 2018 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Sacral insufficiency fractures (SIFs) are fragility fractures of the sacrum that destabilize the pelvis and cause debilitating low back pain. The overall incidence of SIF is difficult to determine; however, one estimate suggests that 19% of patients aged > 70 years who underwent bone scan had an SIF. Technology Description: Percutaneous sacroplasty involves the injection of acrylic (polymethylmethacrylate) or bioceramic bone cement into the SIF to restore the mechanical integrity and stability of the sacrum and thereby relieve pain and restore mobility. Controversy: A rapid and effective treatment for SIFs would prevent complications associated with prolonged bed rest and reduce or eliminate...