Global Lexiscan Nuclear Stress Test Market: Snapshot

The need for ascertaining the health of arteries to identify coronary artery disease in patients who cannot perform an adequate level of exercise has led to the demand a nuclear imaging material such as lexiscan. The stress agent is particularly used in radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for injecting it intravenously in patients to crate stress conditions equivalent to exercise. The inability of performing exercise can be attributed to various factors including arthritis, poor conditioning of the heart muscles, intake of blood pressure medications, or the use of devices such as pacemakers.

MPI consists of scanning heart muscles during rest and after the patient is injected lexiscan. Traces of radioactive material is used to act as a special imager before and after lexiscan is injected into the bloodstream. Comparing images before and after helps in determining the extent of damage of coronary, any arterial blockages, or any other heart defects. If the arteries of the patient undergoing test is narrowed they will respond less to the injection of lexiscan, and hence the scans processed by computer will show decreased blood flows in the affected arteries. The need for MPI is usually recommended after a heart attack, which helps cardiologists guide decisions related to future treatment procedures such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgeries. The rising prevalence of coronary artery disease in developed and developing countries is a key factor expected to boost the demand for cardiac nuclear lexiscan exercise stress test in the coming years.

Lexiscan or regadenoson is a stress agent, which typically works by increasing blood flow in the arteries of the heart. Lexiscan is specifically used for radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) in patients who are unable to bear adequate exercise stress. In this test, typically, patients are asked to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle. The aim is to increase patient’s heart rate until it is adequately stressed. 

The heart is a specified muscle and like other muscles in the body it needs oxygen and nutrients so that it can continuously pump blood throughout the body. Regadenoson is injected intravenously in preparation with a radiologic (X-ray) examination of blood flow through the myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) nuclear stress test or coronary artery test. 

On April 10, 2008, Lexiscan was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is marketed by Astellas Pharma. It is approved in the EU under the name Rapiscan. Currently, it is being marketed by GE Healthcare, which is being sold mainly in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Germany. 

MPI test is taking pictures of the blood flow in a patient’s heart. This test provides detailed anatomical images which can be used to diagnose and evaluate conditions in coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease progresses when arteries become damaged or diseased. Usually, coronary arteries are damaged when they are accumulated with deposits called plaques. Shortness of breath is a usual indication of coronary artery disease. MPI test images can tell a doctor if a patient’s heart is bloated and can measure its overall functioning, for example ejection fraction. 

The choice of lexiscan nuclear stress test modality depends on many factors. Some of the important factors are resting electrocardiogram (ECG), ability to perform exercise, and clinical signals performing the test. 

The global lexiscan nuclear stress test market is driven by rise in incidence of coronary heart diseases. According to a recent analysis in the medical journal The Lancet, the number of people with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) has increased by 24% in the past ten years. Globally, millions of people are suffering with heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation also called AFib. Currently, nearly 2.7 million people in the U.S. have AFib. This number is expected to increase significantly due to rise in geriatric population. The formation/accumulation of plaque in the arteries in the limbs is one of the major reasons that can cause heart attack or stroke. Other causes of rise in heart diseases are smoking, obesity, and changes in lifestyle. On the other hand, side effects and safety issues related to lexiscan nuclear stress test are projected to restrain the global lexiscan nuclear stress test market. People may experience side effects depending on individual conditions. The most common side effects that followed application of lexiscan test were headache, flushing, chest pain, nausea, feeling hot, dizziness, and nausea. Other factors likely to hamper market growth are rise in cost of overall treatment and surgeries. 

Key players operating in the lexiscan nuclear stress test market are Astellas Pharma, Inc. and GE Healthcare. Moreover, small number of players operate in this market at the regional level, especially in low to medium income parts of the world.

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