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Novel ‘Paper Clip’ Device Treats Resistant Hypertension

Researchers evaluate ‘lifeline’ for patients with uncontrolled blood pressure (September 19)

Researchers at the University of Leicester in the U.K. have successfully used a novel paper clip-sized vascular coupling device to treat a patient with therapy-resistant hypertension.

The trial was part of a prospective randomized international study designed to evaluate a new device called the ROX coupler. The coupler is a small metal stent made of nitinol that, when deployed, acts like a “paper clip” joining an artery and a vein together in the groin area. This allows blood to flow between the high-pressure artery and the low-pressure vein. The coupler is inserted and put in place via a key-hole surgical procedure at the groin under local anesthesia.

“Results from the pilot study already done on this new technology look promising,” said Professor André Ng, who performed the procedure. “There is a very early response with a reduction in blood pressure in resistant hypertensive patients, which appears to be maintained in medium term, at least. We hope to uncover the mechanisms by which this works, and that is the whole purpose of the randomized trial, to establish the safety of this new technology, the characteristics of the response, and more insight into the way it works.

“We hope this groundbreaking treatment will provide a lifeline to patients who have had all the drugs prescribed and yet their blood pressure remains uncontrolled.”

Source: University of Leicester; September 19, 2013.

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