SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

March 01, 2012 13:13 ET

Combined Use of MRI and Ultrasound Boosts Market

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 1, 2012) - When used together, MRI and ultrasound imaging becomes more effective, and this trend is among the many factors cited by healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information for the growth in sales of both modalities. In their recent report: Medical Imaging Markets: MRI and Ultrasound, the firm notes that worldwide revenues for MRI and ultrasound systems grew at 6% and 4% respectively between 2010 and 2011.

One example of combination usage is in rotator cuff tears. While ultrasound is usually viewed as more cost effective, MRI is most often used to evaluate the rotator cuff. When performing a cost utility analysis, utilizing ultrasound as the initial medical imaging test for a rotator cuff tear, along with a pre-operative MRI to identify alternative and concurrent diagnoses, can be a very effective hybrid imaging strategy.

"Ultrasound is a cheaper imaging modality, yet MRI can provide more depth," said Joe Constance, Kalorama's imaging analyst and the author of the report. "So it's not a surprise to see ultrasound recommended for the initial medical imaging test and an MRI as a secondary test to find any alternate diagnosis and give the surgeon the needed anatomy."

Another area where a combination of modalities is used, according to Kalorama, is in breast cancer. A second-look ultrasound of the breast, used in conjunction with MRI, allows radiologists to identify lesions not detected with conventional mammography and first-look ultrasound; in some cases it allows radiologists to determine whether or not a lesion is malignant or benign. This was highlighted in a study performed at the University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy, that included 182 patients who had mammography, ultrasound and MRI. It has become accepted among some radiologists.

New research may find new combination uses. An experimental procedure developed by scientists at UCLA fuses MRI with real-time 3D ultrasound to obtain biopsy specimens from suspicious areas in the prostate. Patients first received MRI scans of the prostate that assessed three components in detecting cancer: suspicious contrasts in tissue, abnormal cellular density and unusual blood flow within the prostate.

Other trends driving revenues are discussed in Kalorama Information's report, Medical Imaging Markets: MRI and Ultrasound, including an aging population, increased efficacy and new higher-priced systems. The report also looks at companies participating in the market and breaks out MRI and ultrasound revenues in various countries.

About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and our blog.

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