Cardiovascular procedures driving nuclear medicine surge
Nuclear medicine procedures have been on the rise for the past three years or more, with a 15 percent increase (5 percent per year) seen in the number of procedures completed from 2002 to 2005, according to a IMV Medical Information Division report. Approximately 19.7 million such procedures were performed during 17.2 patient visits in the United States in 2005, at more than 7,200 hospitals and non-hospitals sites, compared to just 14.9 visits in 2002, IMV said.
“Nuclear medicine utilization [not including PET procedures] has been driven by cardiovascular applications, which have grown from 35 percent of 1992 procedures to 57 percent in 2005,” said Lorna Young, senior director, Market Research, IMV Medical Information Division. “Non-hospitals, such as cardiology practices, have focused on cardiovascular procedures, where 80 percent of their nuclear medicine patient studies are cardiovascular. While both the hospitals and non-hospitals are equally likely to perform cardiovascular procedures, hospitals are more likely to perform tumor localizations, radionuclide therapy, bone scans, and liver, respiratory and renal studies,” Young added.
The IMV report also looks at adoption trends by procedure type, and also evaluates current adoption trends of new technologies, including;
  • Average number of nuclear imaging cameras installed  per site: 1.8; 
  • Of the non-hospitals facilities, two-thirds of them  installed their camera in 2000 or after, whereas 45 percent of hospitals  followed this trend; 
  • Facilities are active in their system replacements,  with the report showing that two-thirds of purchases going on are for  replacement units; and 
  • Nuclear medicine departments are actively expanding  their network capabilities to transmit images, either for cardiology or  radiology.
For more information about the 2005 Nuclear Medicine Market Summary Report go to