It’s taken two decades, but the global market for stents used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms is finally hitting the billion mark, according to a report over the weekend in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Medtronic estimates the global market for devices to treat abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms at $1.1 billion, with the U.S. comprising $700 million to $800 million of that amount. Abdominal aneurysms make up about 75 percent of the market. Globally, the AAA repair market could reach $1.6 billion by 2015.
Patients have demanded this technology as an option since it first started being used in 1990. Two decades since has seen vast improvements in stent technology, surgeon adoption of it, and positive patient outcomes, according to the Star Tribune. Device makers can expect more growth for thoracic stents as well, as research in their efficacy to repair tears to the heart, currently considered off-label usage, progresses.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the part of the aorta that runs from the heart through the stomach and carries blood to the lower half of the body. Most common in men over the age of 65, it is asymptomatic and is usually fatal upon rupture. Medtronic estimates more than 1.2 million Americans have this type of aneurysm.
Open surgery for this type of aneurysm, in which a section of the aorta is replaced, requires extensive recovery. In minimally invasive surgery, a stent is threaded through a one-inch incision in a patient’s groin to the aneurysm, creating a new path for blood flow and easing pressure on the bulge. Medtronic estimates that each of its device costs between $15,000 to $20,000, according to the Star Tribune.
In addition to Medtronic, whose Endurant AAA stent helped contribute to a 5 percent growth of the company’s cardiac revenue in 2010, AAA stent makers include Indiana-based Cook Medical, Delaware-based W.L. Gore & Associates, and California-based Endologix. Last week one analyst gave Endologix an “Outperform” rating based on its forthcoming abdominal aortic aneurysm device.