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Renal Denervation Lowers Blood Pressure in Drug-Resistent Hypertensive Patients

SBP was reduced by an average of 28 mm Hg after 30 days (Nov. 5)

According to a study presented at the annual American Heart Association meeting, the EnligHTN renal denervation system (St. Jude Medical) provided a safe, effective, and sustained reduction in office and ambulatory blood pressure measurements in drug-resistant hypertensive patients at 6 months.

Renal denervation is a minimally invasive approach for the treatment of patients with drug-resistant hypertension. The specialized ablation procedure targets nerves in the renal arteries leading to the kidneys and has been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg. The risk of cardiovascular death is reduced by half with every 20-mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure (SBP).

A prospective, multicenter feasibility study, the EnligHTN I trial treated 46 patients whose blood pressure remained resistant despite being treated with three antihypertensive medications and a diuretic. To be considered for the study, patients were required to have SBP greater than or equal to 160 mm Hg (or 150 mm Hg for patients with type 2 diabetes). The patients’ average blood pressure was 176/96 mm Hg.

Patients treated with the EnligHTN renal denervation system experienced an average SBP reduction of 28 mm Hg after 30 days.

At 6 months:

  • An average SBP reduction of 26 mm Hg points was maintained.
  • 76% of patients responded to treatment and had an average office blood pressure of 150/86 mm Hg.
  • No serious acute device- or therapy-specific adverse events were reported.

The EnligHTN system is a multi-electrode ablation technology for renal denervation. An ablation catheter delivers radiofrequency energy to create lesions (tiny scars) along the renal sympathetic nerves — a network of nerves that help control blood pressure. The intentional disruption of this nerve supply causes blood pressure — both systolic and diastolic — to decrease.

Source: St. Jude Medical; November 5, 2012.

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