Cardiovascular in vitro and in vivo diagnostics focus on early disease detection

New York 18 September 2001Emerging imaging techniques, such as artery calcium scoring, and new twists on existing modalities, such as electron beam computed tomography (EBT), contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance, and ultrasound, are pushing the cardiovascular in vivo diagnostics segment to stronger growth than in general radiology. According to a new study just released from Kalorama Information, a division of, the next five years will see a 70 percent increase in the use of in vivo cardiac testing.


Also, several emerging in vitro diagnostic tests for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are expected to show explosive growth in the next five years, leading to a nearly $3 billion market in 2005. According to the new study entitled Trends in the Early Diagnosis of Cardiovascular Disease: Worldwide Market Opportunities, 9 of 11 categories of cardiovascular in vitro diagnostics will post double-digit growth, with some as high as 80 percent.

The new study reveals that emerging approaches to CVD assessment are opening great opportunities for in vitro diagnostic companies. A menu of lipid tests, hypercoagulation factors, enzyme and protein markers, and genetic markers all contribute to risk assessment. Rapid cardiac assays and the possible involvement of infectious agents offer yet more opportunities for the in vitro segment.

Driven by the recognition of CVD's costs in terms of mortality and utilisation, interest in early detection of the disease process is growing, as stated in the study now available from Due in part to this increased interest in early assessment, the number of cardiac in vivo tests performed will increase across the board, with 7 of 11 modalities experiencing double-digit growth. EBT, for example, is expected to increase at a 60 percent annual rate through 2005.

"The imaging sector is often considered mature, with little growth opportunity", noted Steven Heffner, Acquisition Editor for Kalorama Information. "However, emphasis on cost-effective early diagnosis has given new life to imaging in the cardiovascular area, especially for non-invasive and portable techniques."

According to the study, EBT, magnetic resonance, computed tomography, ultrasound, stress ultrasound, and remote heart rate monitors are expected to displace more expensive, invasive procedures, such as the nuclear stress tests, X-ray angiography, and nuclear perfusion tests. However, the tried and true electrocardiogram and its partner, the Holter monitor, will retain their importance as a first pass screen for CVD.

Statistics indicate that approximately $4 billion of unnecessary medical costs are spent each year on the assessment of non-cardiac cases in hospital emergency departments, and costs associated with CVD generally are expected to show 10 percent growth for the next 10 to 15 years.

"Because of these vast utilisation costs, there is a move to use resources in the early identification of disease risk to allow for early intervention and proactive disease management", stated Mr. Heffner. "Both the laboratory diagnostics and imaging industries will have substantial impact on the early selection of candidates."

The study discusses telehealth, disease management, and reimbursement trends and lists more than 100 products on the market and in development. For more details and purchasing information concerning this report, you can contact Steven Heffner.

Leslie Versweyveld

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