Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is a medical imaging methodology using a specially designed catheter with miniaturized ultrasound probe attached to the distal end. The proximal end of the catheter is attached to computerized ultrasound equipment. It allows application of ultrasonic technology to visualize the blood vessels internally through surrounding blood column. The arteries of the heart (the coronary arteries) are the most frequent imaging target for IVUS. The application of IVUS in coronary arteries is to determine the amount of atheromatous plaque built up at any particular point in epicardial coronary artery. Built up plaque obstructs the blood flow, disturbs the normal blood pressure in body and raises coronary heart complications (e.g. Stenosis). IVUS is a valuable adjunct to angiography, providing new insights in the diagnosis and therapy for coronary diseases. An angiography depicts only 2D silhouette of the lumen, whereas IVUS allows tomographic assessment of lumen area, plaque size, distribution, and composition. According to experts the range of lumen stenosis locations at which myocardial infarctions occur range from areas of acute dilatation all the way to areas of greater than 95% stenosis. However, the average or typical stenoses at which myocardial infarctions occur were found to be less than 50%. Only 14% of the heart attacks occurred at locations with 75% or more due to stenosis. Overall this research has changed the primary focus of heart attack from severe narrowing to vulnerable plaque. According to WHO, it has been estimated that around 17.3 million people died from CVDs in 2008, representing 30% of all the global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.3 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.2 million were due to stroke.
The IVUS market can be segmented on the basis of products and applications:
- IVUS Consoles
- IVUS Catheters
IVUS Accessories market ( pullback devices, guidewires, others)
- IVUS coronary diagnostic market
- IVUS coronary intervention market
- IVUS coronary research market
- IVUS non-coronary /peripheral applications market
Some of the major market drivers of Intravascular Ultrasound Devices market are sedentary lifestyle, increasing incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular diseases rising obese population and aging population. Some of the major restraining factors of this market are high cost of diagnostic devices and lack of uniform reimbursement policies. Most of the market experts expect that future research and developments activities in the field will enhance the application range and efficiency of IVUS as it’s currently at initial stage.
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Asia-Pacific market was observed to be the leading IVUS market as Japan represents the largest regional market for intravascular ultrasound worldwide. This was observed due to efficient reimbursement rate and practice pattern in this country. Asia-Pacific was also observed to be the most growing market. North America was observed to be the second largest IVUS market globally as according to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 5.1 million people in the United States have heart failure and it costs the nation an estimated USD 32 billion each year. High intake of fats through food and lack of physical activities has increased the obese population in North America. Comparatively, reimbursements offered for IVUS in the U.S. are lower and vary significantly among regions of the country. IVUS usage in Europe is also struggling due to the lack of reimbursements in many countries across the region. Rest of the World (RoW) was also observed to be the growing geographic region after Asia-Pacific, especially Latin America and gulf countries were observed to be the major markets for IVUS.
Some of the major key players of the market are Volcano Corporation, Boston Scientific Corporation, Terumo Corporation, Siemens Healthcare, Silicon Valley Medical Instruments Inc., Avinger Inc., InfraReDx Inc., eV3 Endovascular, Inc. (Covedien), among others.