Europe Imaging Agents Market size surpassed USD 2.4 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to expand at 5% CAGR from 2022 to 2028. Surging the launch of innovative imaging agents is one of the major factors that will accelerate the market growth. Technological improvements and innovations provide effective, and less invasive procedures, which will increase the procedure's adoption rates.
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Furthermore, ultrasonic modulated optical tomography is an emerging method for visualizing soft tissue in early cancer diagnosis (UOT). This improved imaging technology adds a new dimension to imaging, leading to increased use of imaging agents.
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The iodinated contrast media segment revenue in the Europe imaging agents market was around USD 1 billion in 2021, owing to the widespread use of CT and X-ray procedures, as well as the wide availability of non-ionic stable iodinated imaging agents for improved diagnosis. Furthermore, an increasing number of angioplasty procedures performed across Europe elevates the demand for imaging agents. For instance, according to the British Heart Foundation, in the UK, approximately 250,000 coronary angiograms are performed every year.
Moreover, iodinated contrast media are widely used in a variety of indications, including nephrological, neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, cancer and musculoskeletal. Also, CT and X-ray images are enhanced using iodine-based contrast media. They are used to improve the visibility of internal organs, gastrointestinal tract, veins and arteries, brain, and soft tissues.
The cardiology segment in Europe accounted for 30% imaging agents market share in 2021, attributed to rising cases of cardiovascular disorders (CVD) across the Europe. For instance, as per the European Heart Network, around 3.9 million people die due to CVD in the Europe and more than 1.8 million people in the European Union (EU) every year. CVD is responsible for 45% of all deaths in Europe and 37% of all deaths in the EU. People who smoke frequently and are exposed to different pollutants are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. As a result, imaging agents are used in the procedure to diagnose cardiovascular disorders.
Furthermore, in cardiology, microbubble contrast agents are used to detect artery irregularities or blockages. It increases imaging clarity, which improves visibility of blood arteries and cardiac structures. It can also be used to assess a patient's cardiac condition following treatment or surgery.
The ultrasound segment will register growth of 5.7% during the forecast timeline, due to the increasing demand for ultrasound imaging for disease management in European countries. Contrast agents for ultrasound imaging have been developed to allow visualization of tissue microcirculation. The agents used in this modality are typically microbubbles that increase blood echogenicity, allowing for better visualization and evaluation of tissue vascularity, large vessels, and cardiac cavities.
Similarly, widespread acceptance and the low cost of the ultrasound modality will drive the adoption of imaging agents. Moreover, contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging is the most used modality for imaging the cardiovascular system in adult and pediatric patients. Also, widely used ultrasound imaging agents are Definity, Lumason, and Optison. They are used to improve the delineation of the left ventricular endocardial border in patients who have suboptimal echocardiograms.
The hospital segment held over 42% Europe imaging agents market share in 2021, credited to the rising number of hospitals and presence of skilled professionals across Europe. Additionally, increasing adoption of advanced diagnostic systems, and a surging number of CT, ultrasound and MRI, examinations will secure the overall business progression.
Furthermore, according to data published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Europe spending on hospitals has increased dramatically in order to efficiently manage patient health. Also stated that, in July 2021, the total health expenditure has increased on average by 50% in the EU. As a result, higher healthcare investments will significantly benefit the Europe market expansion.
The UK imaging agents market was valued at USD 443.6 million in 2021, on account of rising mortality incidence of cancer cases across the UK. For instance, according to the Cancer Research UK, breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in the UK, accounting for 3 in 20 (15%) of all cases in both women and men. With rising cases, it increases demand for imaging procedures, and this, in turn, rising the demand for imaging agents.
Furthermore, manufacturers are focusing on expanding their research and development activities to provide better imaging agents that will propel the country-level market progression. For instance, Alliance Medical is one of the largest providers of diagnostic imaging services in the UK. The company is now focusing on improving accessibility and reducing the cost of care by managing imaging services.
Major players involved in the Europe imaging agents market include GE Healthcare, Eli Lily, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Alliance Medical, Bracco Diagnostics, Inc., Aytu BioScience, Inc., Curium, Guerbet Group, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., Trivitron Healthcare and Beijing Beilu Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.
These companies have adopted various strategies such as merger & acquisitions, new product launches, and distribution agreements that have helped them in sustaining the market competition and gain significant position. GE Healthcare also announced clinical trials for the F18 Angio radioactive PET imaging agent in August 2021. This imaging agent is designed to detect angiogenesis and the formation of new blood vessels in the body during wound healing and tumor growth. The company also expanded its MRI contrast media product range with the launch of macrocyclic agent ClariscanTM in Europe.