ACC: Renal Sympathetic Nerve Ablation Beneficial

Trial shows sustained blood pressure reductions in patients with resistant hypertension

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with resistant hypertension, treatment with catheter-based renal sympathetic denervation leads to significant and sustained blood pressure reduction, according to study findings published online March 30 in The Lancet to coincide with American College of Cardiology's 58th Annual Scientific Session held March 29 to 31 in Orlando, Fla.

Henry Krum, Ph.D., of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues studied 45 patients who received percutaneous radiofrequency catheter-based treatment between June 2007 and November 2008. The researchers also observed five other patients who were enrolled in the study but excluded for anatomical reasons.

In treated patients, the researchers found that the mean office blood pressure of 177/101 mm Hg at baseline declined by 14/10, 21/10, 22/11, 24/11 and 27/17 mm Hg at one, three, six, nine and 12 months, respectively. In the five non-treated patients, the investigators found that blood pressure changes were +3/-2, +2/+3, +14/+9 and +26/+17 mm Hg at one, three, six and nine months, respectively.

"Overall, our study of refractory hypertension has shown that a simple, brief, catheter-based procedure to ablate renal sympathetic nerves can be done safely without long-term complications and could result in persistent reductions of blood pressure," the authors conclude. "Safety and effectiveness findings seem to confirm the important role of renal sympathetic nerves in resistant hypertension and suggest that renal sympathetic denervation could be of therapeutic benefit in this patient population. If randomized controlled trials confirm these initial findings, catheter-based renal sympathetic denervation might be helpful in the management of this public health issue."

The study was supported by Ardian Inc.; two authors disclosed financial relationships with Ardian, Inc.

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