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Ultrasound for Hypertension? Everything You Need To Know

United Kingdom—According to the results of a clinical trial led by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), a one-off operation targeted towards the nerves connected to the kidney has been found to maintain reduced blood pressure in hypertensive patients for at least six months.

Presented at the American College of Cardiology Conference in New Orleans and published in the journal Circulation, the study found that patients treated with the procedure required fewer blood pressure medications.

The one-hour procedure is called renal denervation and uses ultrasound energy to disrupt the nerves between the kidneys and the brain that carry signals for controlling blood pressure.

Patients from around the world: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands were randomly picked to receive either renal denervation or the surgical equivalent of a placebo.

The first part of the study showed that renal denervation led to a significant and safe blood pressure lowering effect after two months in patients not taking statin medication.

In the second part of the study, researchers investigated 140 patients to see if renal denervation remained effective in patients that were given the option to restart their blood pressure medication if required.

Their findings were:

  • Renal denervation’s blood pressure lowering effect was maintained six months after the operation
  • More than twice as many patients were completely free of medication at 6 months in the treated group (35.8%) versus the placebo group (15.5%)
  • Renal denervation reduced blood pressure to a greater extent (an 18.1 mmHg reduction in blood pressure) than the placebo (15.6 mmHg reduction) at six months
  • There were no safety concerns in either group throughout the six months.

"These results point towards an exciting future for this new technology. If long term safety and efficacy is proven in larger trials which are currently under way, we hope that renal denervation therapy could soon be offered as an alternative to many lifelong medications for hypertension," says Principal Investigator & hypertension specialist Dr. Melvin Lobo of Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust.

It is worth mentioning that this study was funded by ReCor Medical, Inc. which manufactures the Paradise® Renal Denervation System used in the study.

Read more about how to safely lower blood pressure numbers without surgery

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