Heart diseases kill 17.9 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and this is just an estimate; the actual number might be a lot higher. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presents a similarly grim picture, saying that in the U.S., one person dies of a cardiovascular issues every 37 seconds. Still, all those who suffer from such issues don’t die immediately, if the condition is diagnosed and treated early. For this, the doctor needs to know what is going on in the heart and blood vessels, for which they require vascular imaging systems.
Thus, with the rising prevalence of heart diseases, the vascular imaging systems market is also expected to witness robust growth in the coming years. X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and nuclear imaging, which includes positron emission tomography (PET) and single-positron emission CT (SPECT), are the various technologies used to scan the insides of the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries. All these imaging modalities are helpful in seeing the flow of blood and the structure of the vessels and heart and determining the presence of clots, perforations, tumors, inflammation, hemorrhage, embolisms, and arteriovenous malformations (AVM).
Other than for simple imaging and diagnosis, such devices are also used to perform procedures, such as angioplasty, which do not require full-scale incisions. While threading the tube through the coronary artery, via a small slit, the doctor needs to have a clear visual of where the catheter is. This is achieved by using a portable fluoroscopy machine, which shows the blood vessel as well as the tube as it snakes it way through it, with the help of X-rays. Another application of vascular imaging systems is biopsies, to evaluate a mass or condition of the vessels’ wall, which also require clear visuals.
Apart from heart issues, these products are also used to visualize the blood vessels in case of oncological and neurological diseases. Historically, the widest use of such devices has been for cardiac issues, as all such disorders are, by definition, related to the vessels. With timely imaging, issues like stroke, valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease (which ultimately leads to myocardial infarction or heart attack), and vegetations on the cardiac muscle can be detected. Additionally, doctors can also see if all the four chambers of the heart are relaxing and contracting as they should.
Vascular imaging is performed at hospitals, diagnostic centers, and specialty clinics, among which hospitals account for the highest number of such tests and scans. This is because hospitals are self-sufficient medical facilities, with various departments, including radiology. This way, after the scan is done and report comes, patients can first see the radiologists and then directly meet with their on-call physician, all within the same building. Further, if anything goes wrong during the procedure, the trained professionals at such centers can rectify the error swiftly.
Around the globe, North America accounts for the largest number of vascular scans, on account of the high prevalence of heart diseases, heavy investments by healthcare facilities, technological advancements, and surging awareness about the various modalities which can be used to visualize the heart and vessels. Within the region, the vascular imaging systems market in the U.S. has been more productive, and the situation would be the same in the near future.
Thus, with more people suffering from heart disorders and the need for their diagnosis growing, the use of imaging equipment to scan the cardiovascular systems would also rise.