Millennium Research Group ’s (MRG; Waltham, Massachusetts) Marketrack service reveals that the total market for cardiac rhythm management (CRM) including pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) grew 3.8% over the first two months of Q4 2006, compared to the first two months of Q3, with ICDs accounting for the vast majority of the growth.

Growth is primarily attributed to increasing confidence in ICDs, as marketing and communication efforts by industry players begin to pay off. Excitement is also beginning to generate over results from a new diagnostic test that was presented at the American Heart Association's annual conference in November. This new non-invasive test, created by Cambridge Heart, is intended to identify patients at risk of sudden cardiac death.

“The advent of this new test implies that more candidates will likely be referred for ICDs, increasing the potential patient population,” says David Gardner, senior analyst at MRG.

Overall CRM market share data for Q4 to date (October and November) shows Medtronic (Minneapolis) in the lead at 53.5%, followed by St. Jude Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) at 23.6% and Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) at 22.9%.