Ah, the mundane world of contrast injection. Hardly. At first glance, the allure of contrast injectors pales in comparison to many of its more glamorous medical imaging relatives. But before completing dismissing contrast injectors, there are a few facts to consider.

Fact 1: The market for MR power injectors is booming. Mona Patel, industry manager for medical imaging at Frost & Sullivan (San, Jose, Calif.) explains, “The market for cardiovascular and CT injectors is already saturated mainly because they have had associated contrast for a long time. But there is great growth and great future potential in the MR injector market.”

Fact 2: Although the CT injector market is a mature market, the market will experience fairly steady growth over the next few years. Cosimo De Pinto, senior product manager for Isovue at Bracco Diagnostics (Princeton, N.J.), summarizes the situation. “In 2002, the market for CT injectors grew by approximately 10 percent with similar growth rates expected in 2003. Over the next five years we anticipate this will plateau with a compounded growth rate in the 7 percentile range over the next five years.”

Fact 3: Power injectors are the wave of the future. The growth of CT power injectors is driven by the technological advancements provided by the new faster multi-detector (MDCT) scanners. New CT technology has fueled the growth of new CT applications and procedures such as CT angiography, cardiac CT and perfusion imaging. And faster scanners require precise contrast delivery to match both the speed and power of MDCT technology.

Fact 4: There are other related market segments that could take off in the not-too-distant future. Ultrasound contrast, for example, could make a significant dent in the contrast market if clinicians adopt new ultrasound contrast agents and more gain regulatory approval. And the market for pre-filled syringes is growing at a fast and furious clip.

MR power injectors take off
There is a magical moment when the stars are perfectly aligned and circumstances are just so. The time is ripe for a new product. Jeff Thompson, marketing manager for MR Injectors at Medrad (Indianola, Pa.), provides a brief history of MR contrast injection. “For a number of years, the use of MR contrast media has been expanding, and the last few years have seen an increase in the use of power injectors.” In fact, MR power injection has experienced triple digit growth in recent years: based on figures from the Arlington Medical Resources Inc. (Philadelphia, Pa.) Imaging Market Guide, Medrad calculates that during the first half of 2002, there was a 140 percent increase in the use of MR power injectors. During the same time period, the number MR procedures grew by 15 percent and MR procedures using contrast grew by 16 percent.

Please refer to the February 2003 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis