Arlington Medical Resources (AMR), a provider of premier market intelligence for the pharmaceutical and diagnostic imaging industries, finds that the usage of injectable perflutren microsphere ultrasound (micro-bubble) contrast agents, which help to evaluate heart wall motion, has declined in the second quarter of 2008 to 22 percent of the usage just two years earlier. Micro-bubble contrast agents are gas-filled microspheres injected intravenously to improve cardiac ultrasound scanning. In October 2007 the FDA placed a black box warning on ultrasound micro-bubble contrast agents after 10 deaths were reported following administration. Reports of 190 serious but non-fatal reactions were also documented.

"The effects of the black box warnings in 2007 are still being felt in the micro-bubble contrast agent market," said Anna Fisher, analyst at AMR. "Even after the FDA revised its warning in May 2008 allowing the agents to be used more broadly, usage still declined in the second quarter of 2008. The role of ultrasound contrast agents continues to be important in the overall echocardiography market because it enhances imaging quality for interpretation. Contrast improves visualization of the left ventricle border, helping the physician evaluate wall motion of the heart."

The newly released edition of the U.S. Echocardiography Monthly Monitor also finds that the total number of patients undergoing echocardiographies in the U.S. had declined by 17,095 in June 2008. The total number of patients undergoing contrast enhanced echocardiography for the U.S. market also declined slightly by 2,137.

Why Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Companies Need this Information

The U.S. Echocardiography Monthly Monitor enables pharmaceutical and medical device companies to monitor the utilization rates of echocardiography in the U.S. It is the timeliest data available to gauge movement and direction of the volume of echocardiography studies being performed, cardiac ultrasound contrast agent and pharmacological stressing agent usage.

About the U.S. Echocardiography Monthly Monitor

The U.S. Echocardiography Monthly Monitor is a monthly syndicated audit of echocardiography procedures, ultrasound contrast agents and pharmacologic stress agents used in hospitals and office-based cardiology settings. The study quantifies echocardiography procedure volumes on a national scale, split by type of echo, contrast/non-contrast, type of contrast and stressing method where applicable. The data is available 30 days after the end of each study month.

About AMR

AMR (www.AMR-data.com) is a pharmaceutical market research firm serving the market intelligence needs of the pharmaceutical and diagnostic imaging industries since 1991. With offices in Malvern, PA and Brussels and affiliates in Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai, AMR publishes syndicated audits for the United States, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain, China, Japan and Korea. Research includes clinical inpatient databases that directly link anti-infective drug with indication/procedure, formulary and stocking status tracking studies, drug purchasing audits and diagnostic imaging procedure volume/contrast media usage audits. AMR is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.

  All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be      trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.    For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com 

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SOURCE: Arlington Medical Resources (AMR)

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc.,
+1-781-296-2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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