The biggest area of procedure growth included brain, spine, and vascular (MR angiography) studies, IMV said. High-field scanners with field strengths of 1.5 tesla or higher are the most favored configurations; 1.5-tesla units accounted for 78% of the scanners installed in the U.S. in 2006, while very high field strength units greater than 1.5 tesla contributed 12% of installed units.
With Medicare reimbursement rate cuts under the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005, hospital-based MRI departments will likely replace and expand their clinical capabilities, while independent imaging centers may delay purchases as they evaluate the DRA's impact on their operations, according to IMV.
In other report highlights, IMV found that 53% of future fixed MRI purchases are expected to be replacements of existing units, while 13% are first buyers. Thirty-four percent are buying additional systems.
In 2006, 84% of all MRI procedures were performed on an outpatient basis, and 16% were inpatient exams. Of the 2006 MRI procedures, 12.1 million (45%) used contrast media. In addition, the average replacement cycle for an MRI scanner is 8.1 years, IMV said.
By AuntMinnie.com staff writers
February 1, 2007
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