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.

Polidocanol Endovenous Microfoam (Varithena) 1% for Treatment of Varicose Veins

September 16, 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 of the lower limbs are most often caused by incompetence and reflux of the great saphenous vein (GSV) and its accessory veins. Varicose veins may be asymptomatic, or the associated venous insufficiency may cause heaviness, fatigue, aching, burning, throbbing, numbness,...

Grafix Cryopreserved Placental Membrane (Osiris Technologies Inc.) for Treatment of Chronic Foot Ulcers in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus

September 3, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Diabetes can damage blood vessels, compromising blood flow and oxygen circulation. Resulting tissue hypoxia may contribute to failure of even minor wounds to heal. Chronic foot ulcers in people with diabetes may occur when foot injuries, such as cuts, blisters, or sores, develop, worsen, and do not heal. Reasons are multifactorial and may include compromised sensation due to diabetes-related nerve damage and poor blood flow due to diabetes-related blood vessel damage. Technology Description: Grafix Cryopreserved Placental Membrane is intact and preserved human placental tissue that contains collagen-rich matrix, growth factors, epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and mesenchymal stem cells. It is...

Magnetic Resonance–Guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) Unilateral Thalamotomy for Essential Tremor

August 28, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Essential tremor (ET) is a neurological disorder of involuntary rhythmic tremors. Although ET is considered a benign disease, disabling tremors affect activities of daily living and workplace productivity and are a source of psychological distress and embarrassment. Medication-resistant ET occurs in 30% to 50% of patients with ET. While approximately 50% of patients with ET achieve symptom reduction; complete resolution of tremor symptoms is rare. Technology Description: Transcranial magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thalamotomy is an incisionless therapy option that does not use ionizing radiation for thermal ablation of a part of the thalamus. Controversy: Invasive alternatives to MRgFUS have...

Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound Therapy (ExAblate 2000; InSightec Ltd.) for Ablation of Uterine Fibroids

August 22, 2019 Health Technology Brief

Health Problem: Uterine fibroids (UFs) (also called leiomyomata or myomas) are benign tumors of the myometrium, the smooth muscle layer of the uterus. Approximately 25% of fibroids are symptomatic. Fibroids are the most common indication for hysterectomy in many countries. Technology Description: Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) combines thermal effects (due to absorption of acoustic energy) with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance to treat symptomatic UF. Thermal ablation by MRgFUS causes cell death and coagulative necrosis of the targeted tissue while sparing surrounding organs. Controversy: Controversies pertinent to the evaluation of treatments for symptomatic UF include whether there is a strong correlation...

iStent inject Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent (Glaukos Corp.) in Combination with Cataract Surgery for Management of Open-Angle Glaucoma

June 28, 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 intraocular pressure (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 Trabecular Micro-Bypass System (model G2-M-IS; Glaukos Corp.) is a second-generation iStent device approved for use in conjunction with cataract surgery for the reduction of IOP in adult patients with mild-to-moderate primary OAG (POAG). The iStent inject consists of 2 heparin-coated, titanium, multidirectional...