Patient cases performed in cath labs increased 17 percent from 1998 to 2002, to 3.85 million, but were essentially flat from 2001 to 2002, according to IMV Medical Information Division's 2003 Cardiac Catheterization Lab Census Database.
The study also reported that of these cath lab cases, 89 percent (3.44 million) are cardiac-related with the remaining 11 percent of cases performed for non-cardiac applications (including carotid, iliac, femoral, run-off, renal and extremity studies).
"Of the cardiac cases performed in 2002, 2.93 million were coronary cases, including diagnostic only, therapeutic only and combined studies," said Gail Prochaska, VP at IMV. "From 1993 to 2002, the proportion of combined studies increased from 3 percent to 33 percent, marking a steady increase in the total number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed."
Lorna Young, senior director, market research at IMV, said "Concurrently, cath labs have increased their ability to electronically store and use their cath lab images directly. In this study, 92 percent of the cath lab cases use electronic archiving technology, which is up dramatically over the past five years. The availability of digital archiving within the cath lab has set the stage for the integration of cardiology information systems with cath lab images."