According to Everyday Health, two clinical trials showed that renal denervation to treat hypertension is a safe, significant way to achieve sustained blood pressure reduction.
In renal denervation a radio frequency catheter is used to create lesions in the renal arteries in order to disrupt the nerve pathways that lead into and out of the kidneys. The procedure only takes about 40 minutes and has been shown to reduce blood pressure in those with drug resistant hypertension.
Paul A. Sobotka, MD, Ohio State University said initially, not everyone responded favorably to renal denervation. But the study showed that the percentage of those who responded favorably to the treatment increased over time. After one month, 69 percent of 143 patients responded; at 12 months 79 percent of 130 patients; at two years, 90 percent of 59 patients; and at three years, 100 percent of 24 patients who were followed for 36 months responded to the treatment.
To qualify for the trial patients had to be on three or more drugs to manage blood pressure. Researchers reported that there were no significant safety issues associated with renal denervation such as decline in kidney function or late vascular complications.
There were no significant safety issues associated with renal denervation, including no decline in kidney function or late vascular complications, Esler reported. Sobotka said patients responded to the treatment the same if they were older than 65 or younger, and there were no mortalities due to the treatment.
The SIMPLICITY HTN-1 renal denervation system used in the trial is not currently approved by the FDA for use in the U.S., but another trial of the system is underway and it may be approved in the future.
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