Coronary guidewires are used to navigate catheters and other interventional devices through the coronary arterial system during procedures such as angiography and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs). Both are examples of minimally invasive vascular procedures, enabling doctors to open blocked blood vessels without the need for open heart surgery.

Generally comprised of a central core wire, outer covering, and a distal tip, guidewires have an elongated body to provide flexibility. The core wire is typically made of stainless steel or nitinol, and adds support to reduce the occurrence of kinking.

North America has the largest market for coronary guidewires. Within that region, the most dominant country is the US, which contributes around 90% of the market. Furthermore, GlobalData believes that the US coronary guidewire market will experience a steady growth between 2015 and 2030, driven by the increase in coronary heart disease (CHD) and associated non-surgical treatment methods.

In this article, Medical Device Network examines the state of the US coronary guidewires market using insights taken from GlobalData’s ‘United States Coronary Guidewires Market 2015-2030’ report.

Heart disease is on the rise

Around the world, the incidence of CHD is increasing. This condition refers to the narrowing of the coronary arteries, which results in inadequate supply of blood and thus oxygen to cardiac muscles. A chest pain known as angina pectoris (AP) is a common side effect, indicating the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD) and an increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack.

The US has the highest rates of CHD compared to any other country in the world. CHD is the leading cause of death in the US, with around 735,000 Americans suffering from MI every year. According to the report, US citizens also have the highest risk of AP and MI across the world due to factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Due to their minimally invasive nature, PCI procedures have become the standard of care for these diseases. Advantages include a fast recovery time as compared to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), as well as reduced pain and shorter hospital stays. GlobalData forecasts a steady increase in PCI procedures, meaning coronary guidewire usage will increase alongside.

The sharp dip in 2020 represents the sudden decline in PCI procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, when non-emergency treatments were deferred until SARS-Cov-2 infection rates lowered. The number of procedures has now fully recovered and a strong growth rate is predicted between 2022 and 2030. GlobalData forecasts a similar growth rate for the coronary guidewire market, which was also impacted by the fall in PCI procedures in 2020.

Guidewire manufacturers and design trends

In the US coronary guidewires market, the largest market share is held by Abbott Laboratories, followed by Terumo Corp and Boston Scientific Corp.

The performance of coronary guidewires is often assessed based on indicators such as pushability, flexibility, trackability, and torque control. Despite this, the success rate of procedures with coronary guidewires is mainly dependent on the surgeon’s skill and experience.

There are a number of innovative coronary guidewire design trends that could provide real-time feedback to doctors in the future. The incorporation of microsensors and fibreoptics into the tip of the guidewire are currently being explored in clinical trials. Following the success of such trials, GlobalData expects the coronary guidewires market to grow even higher.

Sourcing medical wire for coronary guidewires

As the name suggests, a key component of a guidewire is the medical wire at its core, which provides flexible support to the centre of the device. Based in the US, Custom Wire Technologies is a leading supplier of medical wire, serving customers with the custom wire products they need to deliver on high-performance coronary guidewire designs. The company’s core wire grinding is highly unique in its ability to centreless grind long lengths of wire at very tight tolerances. 

To find out more, download the whitepaper below.