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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2014 June;62(3):235-41


language: English

Treating resistant hypertension with new devices

Wienemann H., Meincke F., Kaiser L., Heeger C. H., Bergmann M. W.

Department of Cardiology, Asklepios Clinic St. Georg, Hamburg, Germany


Arterial hypertension is a frequent, chronic disease, which is one of the main risk factor for cardiovascular and renal diseases such as heart failure, chronic kidney disease, hypertensive heart disease, stroke as well as cardiac arrhythmias. In the clinical setting it remains challenging to accomplish the thresholds of guideline blood pressure (BP) levels now defined as office based BP to be below <140 mmHg. Patients on three or more antihypertensive drugs, with systolic BP values above ≥160 mmHg (≥150 mmHg for patients with type 2 diabetes) are classified as having resistant hypertension. In the past six years the development of interventional sympathetic renal artery denervation (RDN) opened a new treatment option targeting the afferent and efferent sympathetic nerves of the kidney to reduce BP. A large variety of devices are available on the market. Newly developed devices try to focus on new strategies such as ultrasound or irrigated catheters, which might reduce the post-procedural complications and increase the success rate. The first generation SymplicityTM device (Medtronic, Palo Alto, CA, USA) was shown to be safe, with side effects rarely occurring. Clinical trials demonstrate that this procedure is successful in about 70% of patients. However current data from Simplicity HTN-3 with 25% african-americans and a massive BP-lowering effect in the control “sham” group was not able to find a significant effect in the overall patient cohort. Possibly devices which allow to safely destroy sympathetic renal innervation more efficiently might allow for a higher responder rate. Irrigated RDN and ultrasound devices could deliver more energy to deeper tissue levels. This article provides an overview of currently available data on devices.

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