January 5, 2009 - Arlington Medical Resources (AMR), a provider of market intelligence for the pharmaceutical and diagnostic imaging industries, reported that the number of micro-bubble echo contrast procedures performed in October 2008 have increased by more than 50 percent, to nearly 18,000 procedures, when compared to May 2008.
Micro-bubble echo contrast procedures began declining sharply in October 2007, from nearly 55,000 procedures in September 2007, as a result of a black box warning issued by the FDA in October 2007.
A revised black box warning issued in May 2008 has contributed to this rebound as well as physicians and sonographers reestablishing protocols for contrast usage in their institutions. A micro-bubble echo contrast agent is administered intravenously and used for contrast enhancement during echocardiographic procedures.
The newly released edition of the U.S. Echocardiography Monthly Monitor also finds that both Lantheus Medical Imaging's Definity and GE Healthcare's Optison - the two FDA approved micro-bubble echo contrast agents - realized increased usage during the same study period.
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