New technology can reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major cause of health problems throughout the world. At present the main treatments for hypertension are lifestyle modification and medications. In general these treatments are very successful but do not entirely control blood pressure satisfactorily in all cases. In America more than 50% of all patients with hypertension have not met their treatment goals with traditional treatment. More invasive techniques have also now been developed to help treatment of hypertension. Recently the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has released a document outlining the possible role of one of these treatments known as renal denervation (RDN). This has been achieved by bring specialists in hypertension together to assess the technology and its benefit to patients.
RDN is a minimally invasive procedure that applies radiofrequency energy, ultrasound or drug delivery to interrupt nerve activity in the renal arteries, which results in a reduction in systemic blood pressure. A number of trials of this technique have shown sustained and effective reduction in the blood pressure of patients with hypertension both in patients already on treatment or for patients who have recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
“Increasing attention to the clinical benefits of BP control and yet the persistence of uncontrolled hypertension present the opportunity for device-based therapies such as renal denervation. This novel therapyoffers advantages that are both distinct from the limitations of conventional antihypertensive medications but may also complement existing therapies to achieve greater BP control,” according to David E. Kandzari, MD, FSCAI, chief of the Piedmont Heart Institute and director of interventional cardiology, who served as chair of the document.
“This document lays the foundation as to how we move forward with this exciting technology,” stated Eric A. Secemsky, MD, FSCAI, director of vascular intervention at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and co-chair of the document. “By reaching consensus on important issues, we now have a guide for how we may accomplish clinical implementation, while also raising awareness to areas we do not yet have answers for, such as reimbursement.”
The full document is now available in early view in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, the journal of SCAI.