Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders affecting the heart, conduction system, and blood vessels. The underlying pathology is atherosclerosis – the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the blood vessel walls. Through an obstructive process, which worsens over time and with certain lifestyle factors, atherosclerosis reduces blood flow to the heart, triggering myocardial infarction and strokes.  

Taken as a whole, CVDs are the leading cause of global mortality, as well as a significant contributor to disability. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths. That same year, CVDs accounted for 38% of the 17 million premature deaths (under the age of 70) caused by non-communicable diseases.

Identifying individuals at the highest risk of CVDs and making sure they receive appropriate treatment can lower the number of premature deaths. There is a strong pharmaceutical market for CVD therapies, valued at $155.6bn in 2021. Drug sales are dominated by anti-coagulants, such as heparin and warfarin, which reduce the risk of blood clot formation and are often prescribed for patients who have previously suffered a stroke or myocardial infarction caused by a clot.

When surgical intervention is required, the good news is that the majority of procedures are now minimally invasive. Performed in the catheterisation laboratory (cath lab), these are deemed nonsurgical. Minimally invasive procedures ensure a better and safer experience for patients, with fast recovery, lowered risk of infection, and less discomfort compared to open surgery. A common example is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), used to treat aortic stenosis. In this procedure, a balloon catheter is used to inflate the aortic valve of the heart, where a replacement valve is then inserted.

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) is another example where a balloon catheter is used to place a small device – a stent – inside the vascular system, this time with the purpose of rapidly addressing blocked coronary arteries in emergency situations. By placing the stent inside the narrowed blood vessel, the patient’s blood flow can be restored.  

Catheter-based interventions

Advances in nonsurgical catheter-based interventions have transformed the cardiac field. Catheters are now commonly used for diagnosis, clot removal and device placement. They include PTCA balloon catheters and cardiac catheters (with angiography catheters and guiding catheters sub-segments).

Purely for diagnosis purposes, Intravascular Ultrasound Systems make use of specially designed catheter technology incorporated with a miniaturised ultrasound probe. Coronary guidewires are also essential to the success of catheter-based procedures. These are precisely controllable wires which are used to lead the catheter toward the affected site of the vascular system.

Using GlobalData’s latest market size estimates, Figure 1 (below) shows the breakdown of the interventional cardiology device segment.

By 2025, GlobalData predicts the annual number of cardiovascular procedures performed in the United States to hit almost 23 million. A recent whitepaper produced by Custom Wire Technologies in partnership with GlobalData examines the data in more depth, including which types of procedures accounted for the highest volumes over the last decade.

Custom Wire Technologies is a leading innovator of system-critical components for medical devices, with decades of experience producing precision, custom-made wire components to support the manufacturers of interventional cardiology devices.

From core wires to coils, wire components can be central to a guidewire or catheter’s ability to flex as it twists and turns through tortuous blood vessels. At the same time, wire components are relied upon to support the structure of the device while providing sufficient tactile feedback to the physician.

Considering the critical role of wire components, it’s imperative that medical device manufacturers get this part of their device right. Partnering with a real expert in medical wire production could be the difference between a device that breezes through R&D and clinical trials and one that does not.

To learn more about the role of wire components in cardiovascular devices, including how certain design decisions impact the end product, please download the whitepaper below.