High blood pressure increases the risk of heart and/or kidney disease and stroke because it makes the heart work too hard. The renal sympathetic system, which are the small nerves that carry the signal from the brain to the kidney and back from the kidney to the brain, plays an important role in the regulation of blood pressure levels. The disruption of these nerve fibers has a positive effect on blood pressure level.
Interventional radiologists around Marc R. Sapoval, Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou, Paris, France, have completed the first human randomized controlled trial of therapeutic renal denervation (RDN). During this procedure a catheter-based probe is inserted into the renal artery. The probe emits high-frequency energy to deactivate the nerves near the kidneys or in the renal artery that are linked to high blood pressure.
After six months, 39 % of patients receiving the endovascular denervation treatment had reached the recommended blood pressure level and, overall, 50 % of patients showed a measurable benefit of the intervention. These results confirm that RDN may be an effective therapy — possibly performed in an outpatient clinic in the future — for reducing and consistently controlling resistant hypertension when current medications have failed.
- Presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill
- Society of Interventional Radiology
“Renal denervation, a minimally invasive, effective treatment, appears to be safe in the short term with a low incidence of local complications..