Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedure In Clinical Trials to Regulate Blood Pressure and Reduce Risks of Heart Attacks
Posted Dec 27 2009 9:09pm
This is a minimally invasive procedure done via a catheter. There is no device implanted. The company also has a page to find out more about the clinical trials, focusing on patients with resistant hypertension and kidney disease and they are actively recruiting medical centers for participation.
The procedure is basically short circuiting the signals from the kidneys to elevate blood pressure and the article states that normal readings can result in 3 months. Below is a video from one trial location here in the US. If successful we could be looking at a potential cure for high blood pressure down the road, which would mean less heart attacks brought on by hypertension and less dependency on drugs to maintain lower numbers. BD
From the website:
“Hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, especially the renal sympathetic nerves, is a major contributor to the pathophysiology of hypertension. The Symplicity Catheter System uses controlled, low-power radiofrequency (RF) energy to deactivate the renal nerves, thereby selectively reducing both the pathologic central sympathetic drive to the kidney and the renal contribution to central sympathetic hyperactivity. The outcome, we hope, will be a significant and sustained reduction in both blood pressure and the level of systemically damaging neurohormones.”
Since the minimally invasive procedure does not involve an implant, patients recover quickly and can soon return to their daily living. The device may usher in a new era in the treatment of hypertension, hopefully allowing a one-time procedure to offer patients a long-lasting benefit.
The technique, which is relatively straightforward and cheap for the NHS, could reduce the risk of a major heart attack or stroke in such patients by half.
The Daily Telegraph can disclose that the new procedure, which involves placing tiny burns on a nerve responsible for high blood pressure in some people, has been carried out in Britain for the first time.
The new procedure, called renal sympathetic-nerve ablation, involves inserting a wire into a blood vessel close to the kidneys to burn through nerves which carry signals that stimulate high blood pressure.
It disrupts signals from the brain telling the kidneys to keep blood pressure raised. Initial tests suggest it can be effective within three months.
Dr Paul Sobotka, chief medical officer of Ardian, an American company which has developed the equipment, said: "For the first time we can think of a cure for hypertension."