Home Pharmaceuticals Contrast Agents in MRI Market Size, Share, Segment Analysis 2032

Contrast Agents in MRI Market

Contrast Agents in MRI Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Barium-Based, Iodinated, Gadolinium-Based, Microbubble, Others), By Applications (Oncology, Cardiology, Neurology, Inflammations, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRPH408DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 4.01%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 5.29 billion
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 7.52 billion
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Europe
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Market Overview

The global contrast agents in MRI market size was valued at USD 5.29 billion in 2023. It is estimated to reach USD 7.52 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 4.01% during the forecast period (2024–2032). The market is driven by the increasing prevalence of chronic and complex diseases worldwide, like cancer, cardiovascular disorders, neurological disorders, and infectious diseases, which has increased the demand for MRI scans, thereby boosting the global contrast agents in the MRI market. The surge in the demand for diagnostic imaging as a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure is further boosting the market expansion. Moreover, advancements in MRI technology and contrast agents are estimated to create opportunities for market growth.


  • Neurology dominates the application segment
  • North America is estimated to be the largest shareholder in the market

A strong magnetic field and radio waves are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a non-invasive imaging technique, to create detailed images of the body's internal organs and tissues. MRI contrast agents are intravenously administered compounds that augment the distinction between normal and abnormal tissues during an MRI scan. This process enhances the precision and excellence of the resulting images, leading to improved diagnostic capabilities. The classification of MRI contrast agents consists of two primary types, i.e., paramagnetic and superparamagnetic.

Gadolinium ions, which have seven unpaired electrons and produce a strong magnetic moment when exposed to an external magnetic field, are used in paramagnetic contrast agents. Superparamagnetic contrast agents utilize iron oxide nanoparticles, possessing a significant magnetic susceptibility, to produce a potent local magnetic field that influences the neighboring protons. MRI contrast agents are extensively utilized in diverse fields, including neurology, cardiology, cancer, musculoskeletal, and vascular imaging.

Market Dynamics

Global Contrast Agents in MRI Market Drivers:

Increasing Prevalence of Chronic and Complex Diseases

The escalating prevalence of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and infections has led to a greater requirement for prompt and precise diagnosis. Consequently, there has been a surge in the demand for MRI scans and contrast agents.

According to data from the World Health Organization, cancer was the second leading cause of death globally in 2020, accounting for about 10 million deaths. By 2040, it is projected that there will be a worldwide increase in the number of new cancer cases to 27.5 million, resulting in 16.3 million deaths.

Similarly, cardiovascular disorders stand as the leading cause of mortality globally, resulting in 17.9 million deaths in the year 2019. By 2030, the prevalence of cardiovascular illnesses is expected to rise to 1.2 billion individuals. Moreover, neurological illnesses impact around one billion individuals worldwide. MRI contrast agents are crucial in diagnosing and determining the severity of various disorders, as they can offer comprehensive insights into the structure, operation, and abnormalities of the affected organs and tissues. As a result, these factors propel the growth of the global contrast agents in MRI market.

Growing Demand for Diagnostic Imaging

The demand for diagnostic imaging services, particularly MRI scans, has been driven by the expanding preference for non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnostic techniques and the increasing senior population and healthcare costs. Statista reported that the global number of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units in 2021 was approximately 5.8 thousand.

Furthermore, Next Move Strategy Consulting, a market research firm, has projected that the number of MRI machines globally will surpass 10.7 thousand by 2030. MRI scans are regarded as more advanced than other imaging techniques, such as X-ray, ultrasound, and computed tomography (CT), due to their greater spatial resolution, ability to distinguish soft tissues, and capability for functional imaging. MRI contrast agents augment MRI scans' diagnostic accuracy and practicality by enhancing the visibility of lesions, blood vessels, and organ functions, consequently stimulating the overall market expansion.

Global Contrast Agents in MRI Market Restraint:

Side Effects and Allergic Reactions Associated with Contrast Agents

Although MRI contrast agents offer advantages, they also present potential hazards and difficulties for patients and healthcare providers. Adverse symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, itching, rash, and discomfort at the injection site, may be caused by MRI contrast agents. Sometimes, they can also induce severe allergic responses, such as anaphylaxis, which has the potential to be life-threatening.

Moreover, many MRI contrast agents, particularly those based on gadolinium, have the potential to build up in the body and induce a condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). This illness is distinguished by skin thickening, joint stiffness, and organ harm. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis primarily impacts those with compromised renal function, rendering them incapable of eliminating the contrast agent from their body. The potential for adverse effects and hypersensitivity reactions linked to contrast agents can restrict their utilization and acceptance among some patients and physicians, impeding the expansion of the market.

Global Contrast Agents in MRI Market Opportunities:

Technological Advancements in MRI Systems and Contrast Agents

The contrast agents in MRI market presents abundant opportunities for innovation and advancement, given the ongoing development of MRI technology and the science of contrast agents. The launch of novel MRI systems, such as 7 Tesla (7T) MRI that can generate extremely detailed pictures and facilitate novel applications like molecular imaging and spectroscopy has necessitated the development of new contrast agents that can achieve comparable performance and safety standards.

Moreover, the emergence of innovative contrast agents, such as targeted contrast agents that can attach to specific biomarkers and improve illness diagnosis, as well as smart contrast agents that can react to environmental stimuli and offer dynamic information, has created new opportunities for the market. These technological advances can enhance the effectiveness, precision, and compatibility with living organisms of contrast agents and broaden their use in medical practice and market opportunities.

Regional Analysis

Based on region, the global market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.

North America Dominates the Global Market

North America is the most significant global market shareholder and is expected to expand substantially during the forecast period. The global MRI contrast agents market is predominantly driven by North America, primarily due to the region's high incidence of chronic and complex diseases, widespread utilization of MRI scans and contrast agents, well-developed healthcare infrastructure and reimbursement policies, as well as the accessibility of advanced MRI systems and contrast agents. As per the CDC, a minimum of 60% of adults in the United States experience at least one chronic illness. 40% of individuals reported a high incidence of two or more chronic ailments. It is also projected that in 2020, there were 1,603,844 newly diagnosed instances of cancer and 602,347 fatalities attributed to cancer in the United States.

Furthermore, as stated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), over 800,000 individuals in the United States experience a stroke annually. At the same time, around 6.7 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Various figures demonstrate the significant demand for MRI scans and contrast agents in the region to diagnose and treat various disorders. Moreover, market participants are engaged in strategic endeavors, with companies from other regions collaborating with North American market players to augment their market dominance.

For instance, in November 2023, Ulrich Medical, a German medical device company, and Bracco Imaging will establish a strategic partnership agreement. This arrangement will allow Bracco to distribute an MRI contrast media injector in the U.S. once it becomes commercially available. Ulrich Medical has submitted a premarket notification 510(k) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the syringeless MRI injector after finalizing the distribution agreement. Therefore, all of these factors contribute to the expansion of the market.

Europe holds a substantial position in the global market for MRI contrast agents. This is primarily because of several factors, including the growing number of elderly individuals, the higher occurrence of chronic and complicated illnesses, the increasing awareness and preference for diagnostic imaging, and major market participants and research institutions. As per the European Commission, the number of individuals aged 65 and above in the EU-27 was 90.5 million in 2019, which is estimated to rise to 129.8 million by 2050. Moreover, the increase in research and development endeavors to find appropriate and effective contrast agents for MRI has resulted in the discovery of innovative substances that can serve as contrast agents.

For instance, in July 2023, researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and St Andrews, along with Diamond Light Source, discovered a novel application for copper in the design of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents. This breakthrough can potentially enhance the quality of medical images, facilitating easier and safer diagnosis of patients' conditions by doctors. Scientists have identified an innovative copper protein binding site, which is not naturally found, that shows promising potential for application in MRI contrast agents. These agents enhance the clarity of internal body structures in medical imaging. The finding challenges the established medical belief that copper is not suited for MRI contrast agents and can potentially facilitate the development of new imaging agents that may have fewer hazards and side effects compared to currently utilized contrast agents. These factors enhance the expansion of the regional market.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Type
  1. Barium-Based
  2. Iodinated
  3. Gadolinium-Based
  4. Microbubble
  5. Others
By Applications
  1. Oncology
  2. Cardiology
  3. Neurology
  4. Inflammations
  5. Others
Company Profiles Unijules Life Sciences Ltd. Spago Nanomedical AB Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc. B. Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited Guerbet LLC GE Healthcare Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited Bracco Imaging S.p.A Bayer Healthcare AG Jodas Expoim Magnus Health
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global contrast agents in MRI market is segmented by type and application.

Based on type, the global contrast agents in MRI market is divided into barium-based contrast media, iodinated contrast media, gadolinium-based contrast media, microbubble contrast media, and others.

Gadolinium-based contrast media (GBCM) are frequently employed in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to augment the detectability of specific tissues and blood vessels. The contrast agents consist of gadolinium, a rare earth metal with magnetic properties that impact the relaxation times of adjacent water molecules. This results in enhanced contrast between elements in the MRI scans. Gadolinium-based contrast agents can be utilized in MRI scans of the central nervous system (CNS), including the brain and spinal cord, to improve the visibility of abnormalities such as tumors, inflammation, or vascular lesions. They are especially valuable for identifying and describing abnormalities that may be challenging to visualize without contrast enhancement.

Based on application, the global contrast agents in MRI market is segmented into neurology, cardiology, oncology, inflammations, and others. 

The neurology segment dominates the global market. The field of neurology is the main field of application for MRI contrast agents, which are widely used in the diagnosis and monitoring of several neurological conditions, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. The increasing prevalence of these disorders is projected to stimulate the expansion of this segment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are around 50 million individuals worldwide who are afflicted with epilepsy and 24 million individuals who are affected by Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Furthermore, the Global Stroke Factsheet published in 2022 indicates that the probability of experiencing a stroke throughout one's lifetime has risen by 50% in the past 17 years. Currently, it is anticipated that 1 in 4 individuals will suffer from a stroke at some point in their lives. Stroke frequency increased by 70%, stroke-related mortality increased by 43%, stroke prevalence increased by 102%, and the number of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) lost as a result of stroke increased by 143% between 1990 and 2019.

Market Size By Type

Market Size By Type
  • Barium-Based
  • Iodinated
  • Gadolinium-Based
  • Microbubble
  • Others
  • Recent Developments

    • August 2023- Fresenius Kabi introduced Gadobutrol Injection, a generic substitute for Gadavist, designed for application in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
    • December 2023- Italy-based Bracco Imaging's Vueway (gadopiclenol), a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), was authorized for the market by the European Commission.

    Top Key Players

    Contrast Agents in MRI Market Share of Key Players

    Contrast Agents in MRI Market Share of Key Players
    Unijules Life Sciences Ltd. Spago Nanomedical AB Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc. B. Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited Guerbet LLC GE Healthcare Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited Bracco Imaging S.p.A Bayer Healthcare AG Jodas Expoim Magnus Health Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How big is the Contrast Agents in MRI Market?
    Contrast Agents in MRI Market size will grow at approx. CAGR of 4% during the forecast period.
    Key verticals adopting the market include: Unijules Life Sciences Ltd (India), Spago Nanomedical AB (Sweden), Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc (U.S.), B. Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited (India), Guerbet LLC (France), GE Healthcare (U.S.), Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited (Japan), Bracco Imaging S.p.A (Italy), Bayer Healthcare AG (Germany), Jodas Expoim (India), Magnus Health (India), etc.
    North America has the highest growth in the global market.
    Increasing Prevalence of Chronic and Complex Diseases is the key driver for the growth of the global market.
    Neurology dominates the application segment

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