Arlington Medical Resources (AMR), a provider of premier market intelligence for the pharmaceutical and diagnostic imaging industries, finds 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 OptisonTM -- the two FDA approved micro-bubble echo contrast agents -- realized increased usage during the same study period.

"Continued interest in ultrasound contrast is evident with the recently released American Society of Echocardiography Consensus Statement on the Clinical Applications of Ultrasonic Agents in Echocardiography and the formation of the International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS)," stated Anna Fisher, analyst at AMR.

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 and 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) serves the market intelligence needs of the pharmaceutical and diagnostic imaging industries. 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.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at www.DecisionResourcesInc.com.

All company, brand or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Natalia Morales   Decision Resources   781-296-2691   nmorales@dresources.com    Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com 

First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

CONTACT: Natalia Morales of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2691,
nmorales@dresources.com; or Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc.,
+1-781-296-2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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