News | November 14, 2008

PET/CT, SPECT/CT Procedures on the Rise

November 13, 2008 – An estimated 15.7 million patients received nuclear imaging procedures in the U.S. in 2007, in 7,320 hospital and nonhospital sites, according to a report by IMV Medical Information Division.

This represents a slight 3 percent increase in patient visits, from 15.2 million in 2006 to 15.7 million in 2007.

“Last year at this time, we observed a 12 percent downturn in patient visits from 17.2 million in 2005 to 15.2 million in 2006, which we attributed to several factors, including precertification requirements from health insurance companies as well as competing technologies, such as PET/CT oncology procedures,” said Lorna Young, senior director, Market Research, IMV Medical Information Division. “Now, we are seeing a slight resurgence to 15.7 million in 2007, and based on year-to-date estimates, anticipate 2008 to close out at 16.0 million patient visits, which are still below 2005 levels.”

Adoption of SPECT/CT also climbed with the total number of patients receiving myocardial ischemia/perfusion scans from 2006 to 2007 increasing 5 percent from 8.54 million to 8.93 million. While dual-head SPECT cameras are the most preferred camera type being considered, comprising over two-thirds of the planned camera purchases, SPECT/CT is starting to emerge, comprising over 12 percent of the purchase plans.

The report also indicates that 45 percent of the nuclear imaging sites are nonhospitals, in other words, cardiology offices, and 55 percent are hospital-based, the report said. While hospitals comprise 55 percent of the sites, they account for two-thirds of the nuclear imaging procedures.

The hospital and nonhospital sites are equally likely to be performing myocardial ischemia/perfusion studies, with approximately 89 percent performing. Hospitals are more likely to be conducting the other study types than are non-hospitals, including bone scans, liver/hepatobiliary, renal, respiratory, infection/abscess and tumor localization studies.

Source: IMV Medical Information Division

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