MRI to Lead Growth in Medical-Imaging Market

The U.S. medical-imaging market — including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), radiography and mammography, and computed tomography (CT) — will be worth an estimated $11.4 billion by 2012, according to a new report by BCC Research, Medical Imaging: Equipment and Related Products.

CT currently accounts for the largest share of the market — worth an estimated $2.3 billion in 2007 — and is predicted to top $3.2 billion by 2012.

But MRI scanners, now with the second-most market share, are the fastest-growing segment, with a projected CAGR of 9.8 percent. Currently valued at over $1.8 billion, the MRI scanner market is expected to exceed $2.8 billion in 2012.

The third-largest segment, ultrasound equipment, is currently valued at $1.6 billion and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 6.9 percent to $2.3 billion in 2012.

Radiography and mammography equipment also is expected to experience significant growth, from a current value of $1.3 billion in 2007 to nearly $2 billion in 2012.

And positron emission tomography (PET) scanners, including combination PET/CT machines, are expected to grow from $669.8 million this year to $991.0 million in 2012.

On Tuesday, two leading diagnostic-imaging companies — E-Z-EM, of Lake Success, NY, and Bracco Diagnostics, the U.S. subsidiary of Milan, Italy-based Bracco Imaging — announced plans to merge. Bracco will acquire all of the outstanding shares of E-Z-EM, in a cash transaction valued at $241 million.

E-Z-EM manufacturers contrast agents for gastrointestinal radiology. Products include VoLumen, a patent-pending, low-density barium sulfate suspension for use as an oral contrast in multi-detector CT and PET/CT studies. The company also makes Empower, the first family of CT injectors on the market with patented EDA technology for detecting contrast extravasation.

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