Rethinking Analytical Strategies for Surveillance of Medical Devices: The Case of Hip Arthroplasty

Normand, Sharon-Lise PhD*; Marinac-Dabic, Danica MD, PhD†; Sedrakyan, Art MD, PhD†; Kaczmarek, Ronald MD, MPH†

doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e3181de9cfa
Comparative Effectiveness

Background: Randomized trials that sometimes serve as the basis for device approval are small, short term, and generalizable to an increasingly smaller percentage of patients. Some of the most common and challenging devices are those used in hip replacement. Artificial hips are implanted in thousands to alleviate pain caused by noninflammatory joint disease and to restore patient mobility. During 2004 in the United States, although 68% of hospital stays for partial or total hip replacements were for those aged 65 years and older, younger patients will account for 52% by 2030.

Methods: Using hierarchical modeling, we propose a framework for combining information from premarket and postmarket settings. Our key assumption is that device performance characteristics and outcomes obtained from 1 cohort are related to device characteristics and outcomes of the same or similar devices observed in other cohorts. We illustrate methods by jointly modeling Harris Hip Scores (HHSs) and revision-success data from 1851 subjects who participated in 3 pivotal randomized or observational studies of artificial hips.

Results and Conclusions: Subjects participating in randomized studies had better 2-year HHS than those in observational studies (posterior mean increase in HHS = 4.1, posterior standard deviation = 0.6). Patients implanted with ceramic-on-polyethylene hip used in 1 study had higher 2-year HHS than those implanted with a different ceramic-on-polyethylene hip in another study (mean difference = 4.2, standard deviation = 0.6). Our approach is feasible and will advance regulatory science using a transparent and dynamic new paradigm for knowledge management throughout the total product life cycle.

From the *Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; †Office of Surveillance and Biometrics, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA, Rockville, MD.

Reprints: Sharon-Lise Normand, PhD, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-5821. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.