Angioplasty Balloon Catheters: A Staple in Interventional Cardiology

Nick Talamantes
April 06, 2021

Current opportunities in the angioplasty balloon catheter market are sound, as the technology remains an essential component in the interventional cardiologist’s toolkit for the treatment of severe cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has become a crisis in the US – one that affects nearly half (48%) of all adults.[1] The statistics are overwhelming, with approximately 120 million Americans living with CVD. So, it should come as no surprise that heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the US, claiming nearly 700,000 lives every year.[2] 

Even while the burden of CVD is striking, advances in pharmaceuticals and medical devices have resulted in a substantial decline in CVD-related deaths over the last two decades. According to the American Heart Association, from 2006 to 2016 the age-adjusted death rate attributable to CVD fell 18.6%.[3] The ability to target CVD in its early stages, as well as treat the disease in its severest stages has undoubtedly saved and prolonged many lives.

There are many factors contributing to the continued stability of the US angioplasty balloon catheter market. However, some headwinds are anticipated to slow adoption of newer angioplasty technologies.

The History of Interventional Cardiology

Angioplasty balloon catheters

The modern era of interventional cardiology began in the 1960s and 1970s, thanks in large part to the cumulative efforts of American vascular radiologist Charles Dotter and German cardiologist Andreas Gruentzig. Angioplasty techniques and technologies have continued to advance since the first angioplasty procedures were performed more than a half century ago. 

The most recent evolution in angioplasty technology is the drug-coated balloon (DCB) catheter, which entered the US and European markets within the last five years. In that time, DCBs have amassed a substantial amount of clinical evidence demonstrating their superiority to plain old balloon angioplasty (POBA) catheters.[4][5][6]

The Angioplasty Balloon Catheter Market Forecast

In 2018, Jaunt estimates that the US market for angioplasty balloon catheters was valued at $713.6 million. It is projected that total sales attributable to angioplasty catheters will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.9% during the forecast period (2018-23). By 2023, sales of angioplasty catheters are anticipated to reach $747.8 million.

The angioplasty balloon catheter market can be segmented into four product types: 

  • DCB
  • POBA
  • Cutting balloon
  • Scoring balloon

POBA catheters accounted for the largest share (~52%) of US angioplasty catheter sales in 2018. DCB catheter sales will steadily increase, encroaching on POBA catheter sales. 

Table 1: Angioplasty Catheters, Share by Catheter Type, 2018

Market Drivers and Limiters of Growth

Perhaps the largest factor driving growth of the angioplasty balloon catheter market is the growing burden of CVD in the US. Behavioral risk factors (e.g. poor diet, obesity, decreased physical activity) linked to the development of CVD are on the rise.

In addition to controllable risk factors, Americans are getting older. Elderly adults are at an elevated risk of developing chronic diseases, such as CVD. Angioplasty procedure volumes continue to steadily, albeit slowly, increase – ensuring a need for balloon catheters.

A significant blow to growth of catheter unit sales was dealt when the transitional pass-through (TPT) payment for DCBs expired in January 2018. The expiration of the additional reimbursement means that the cost of DCBs are now packaged into payments for interventional procedures using angioplasty catheters.[7] As a result of this, POBA and DCB catheters are now reimbursed at the same rate, despite significant differences in the average sale prices for these devices (~$100 vs. ~$1,000). The reimbursement cut is anticipated to negatively impact unit sales of DCBs – particularly in cost-sensitive facilities.

The Future of the Angioplasty Catheter Market

Unfortunately, Americans aren’t getting any healthier. Risk factors strongly associated with the development of CVD continue to rise in the US. 

Minimally invasive solutions will remain a critical aspect to the management of the most severe forms of CVD for the foreseeable future. New technologies in the angioplasty balloon catheter market, such as DCBs, are helping to halt further disease progression, alleviate symptoms, and reduce costly repeat revascularizations.

Do you need to learn more about the angioplasty balloon catheter market? Contact us for a consultation.