Contrast medium or contrast agent is a substance used in medical imaging to enhance the contrast of fluids or structures inside the body. These help in better imaging of anatomical structures and organs by increasing the image contrast. Hence, these are helpful in diagnostic methods such as CT scan and in some critical surgeries. The global contrast media or contrast agent market is a fairly mature, and is expected to witness strong growth driven by increasing imaging diagnosis and surgical procedures. The contrast media or contrast agent market has evolved significantly over the last century. Initially, radiologists and practitioners used barium and iodine-based agents. Advancement in nanotechnology has enabled usage of gold nanoparticle along with radiopharmaceuticals.
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Growth of the contrast media or contrast agent market is driven by increasing demand for image guided diagnostics and procedures, rising mortality of chronic diseases such as cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, and cardiac diseases, and growing demand for image guided surgical procedures. Growth of the market can also be attributed to factors such as increasing approvals for contrast agents and rising number of private and government diagnostic centers for improving diagnostic imaging services. Moreover, increasing research studies about applications of various contrast agents and strong pipeline products of the companies are projected to create new opportunities in the global contrast media or agent market.
Advancement in technology and use of advanced techniques such as gas micro bubble technology in MRI imaging are likely to contribute to the growth of the market. Global reforms regarding better healthcare and radiopharmaceuticals, and increasing investments in the contrast media market are fueling market growth. However, sluggish economies, effecting sales of contrast media in medical reform, and fluctuating economies of regions like Europe may hamper the growth of the market.
The contrast media or contrast agent market can be segmented based on product, procedure, application, route of administration, indication, and region. The market can be segmented into barium-based contrast media, gadolinium-based contrast media, and iodinated contrast media. The iodinated contrast media segment accounts for the major market share due to high usage of iodinated agents in CT scan. Based on product type, the contrast media or agent market can be segmented into magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, X-ray/computed tomography (CT), and catheterization laboratory. In terms of application, the market can be categorized into interventional cardiology, radiology, and interventional radiology. Based on route of administration, the market can be segmented into injectable contrast media, oral contrast media, urethral contrast media, and rectal contrast media. The injectable contrast media segment accounted for the major share of the market due to increasing number of CT scans and MRIs performed. In terms of indication, the market has been segmented into nephrological disorders, neurological disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and oncology.
The global contrast media or contrast agent market has been segmented into five main regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are mature markets for contrast media and contrast agents. Strong infrastructure, improved MRI techniques in cardiovascular diseases, advanced cath-lab and reimbursement policies for contrast media or agent are the factors contributing to the high growth in these regions. Asia Pacific is expected to experience high growth due to increasing number of cardiac and other disorders, and advancement in technology. This region offers manufacturers lucrative opportunities for investment in the market.
Major players in the contrast media or contrast agent market are GE Healthcare, Bracco Imaging S.p.A., Guerbet Group, Bayer HealthCare, CMC Contrast AB, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Daiichi Sankyo, nanoPET Pharma GmbH, and Subhra Pharma Private Limited, among others.
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