Contrast Media/Contrast Agent Market-Challenges, Outlook, 2025

Contrast media or contrast agent is used in medical imaging to enhance the image of body parts generated through X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound. These substances are momentarily used to change the way imaging tools or x-rays interact with the body. Contrast media or contrast agent help the physicians to diagnose the medical conditions by improving the visibility of blood vessels or tissues and specific organs. These substances are added into the body prior to an imaging scan to help distinguish certain structures or tissues of interest from the surrounding tissue. Contrast media or contrast agent can be administered into the body in one of the four ways which include by enema (given rectally), orally, urethral, and by injecting into a blood vessel.

Rise in the gas micro bubble technology in MRI imaging is expected to boost the growth of contrast media/contrast agent market

Bayer HealthCare (Germany) was the leading player in the contrast media/contrast agents market with a share of ~24% in 2015. The company continuously strives to strengthen its market position in various geographies by focusing on getting approvals for contrast media products across the world. Gadovist injection, a gadolinium-based contrast agent by Bayer, has received FDA approval in the U.S. and Japan. Gadovist is the first FDA-approved contrast agent for pediatric patients less than 2 years of age, including term neonates. The company’s major share in the market can be attributed to its broad product portfolio, several years of experience, extensive distribution channel, and various growth strategies, such as product approvals, collaborations, and expansions. The company focuses on developing innovative healthcare products with a positive cost-benefit ratio.

Bayer HealthCare invested 5.8%, 5.5%, and 5.5% of its total healthcare revenue in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively, in R&D activities. The company has gained a major share in the contrast media/contrast agents market on account of its comprehensive product portfolio, wide geographical reach; focus on organic growth strategies, as well as constant focus on research and developmental activities.

The approval and launch of innovative agents with safety profile is expected to fuel the growth of contrast media market. For instance, in 2016, FDA approved Gadavist (gadobutrol) injection manufactured by Bayer AG for use with magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) to evaluate renal artery disease use in adult and pediatric patients. Also, in May 2017, the FDA expanded indication for GE Healthcare’s Visipaque (iodixanol) for use in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) for diagnostic evaluation of adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age or older with suspected coronary artery disease.

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Increasing incidence of cancer and cardiac disorders is expected to dominate North America region in contrast media/contrast agent market

On the basis of region, the global contrast media/contrast agent market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. North America dominates the contrast media/ contrast agent in the global market, followed by Europe. Improved MRI techniques in cardiovascular diseases, rise in the number of cancer and cardiac disorders, advancements in diagnostic technology, image guided surgical procedures are the factors that has propelled the growth of contrast media/contrast agent market in the North America region. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. Also, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2017, an estimated 28.4 million heart cases were diagnosed in the U.S.

Key players operating in the market

In March, 2017, GE Healthcare has launched Clariscan, a gadolinium based contrast agent designed to support effective visualization of abnormalities in the spine, brain and associated tissues. Clariscan, also known to be a gold standard detection tool in MR imaging, allows prompt detection of abnormalities by helping in improving contrast between pathological and normal tissue.

The key players operating in the contrast media/contrast agent market include Lantheus Medical Imaging, GE Healthcare, Bayer HealthCare, Bracco Imaging S.p.A, NanoPET Pharma GmbH, Guerbet Group, CMC Contrast AB, Daiichi Sankyo, and Subhra Pharma Private Limited.

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