Cost-effective analysis of topical chlorhexidine in hematologic patients at risk for oral mucositis

Sharon Elad, Todd Thierer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore whether management of mucositis with Chlorhexidine (CHX) mouthwash could be a cost-effective method to decrease the risk of mortality and economic burden in hemato-oncologic or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients. Methods: A cost-effectiveness analysis model of prophylactic CHX mouthwash use versus no-CHX mouthwash use for the prevention of oral mucositis was developed for patients undergoing cytotoxic therapy or HSCT. The outcome variable was survival. The primary variables were CHX mouthwash use, probability of mucositis, probability of increased hospital stay, and length of hospital stay. Probability and cost data were obtained from the literature. Results: Our analysis selected CHX mouthwash use during anticancer treatment as the preferred strategy for the base-case analysis as compared to no CHX mouthwash (marginal value 0.032). There was a $14,391 cost difference per patient between the two strategies. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that CHX mouthwash use during anticancer treatment results in an increased survival and decreased cost for the population studied. Using our base-case data, an additional 32 of every 1,000 hemato-oncologic or HSCT patients will survive when employing the preferred strategy of prophylactic CHX mouthwash. Clinical relevance: CHX mouthwash should be offered for hematologic patients undergoing HSCT or administered with chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1843-1850
Number of pages8
JournalClinical oral investigations
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Cost
  • Effectiveness
  • HSCT
  • Oral mucositis
  • Prevention
  • Survival


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