Treatment of high blood pressure could be revolutionised by a technique that directs radio waves at the kidneys, it has been claimed.
The procedure could offer a new method of managing hypertension, according to scientists in Australia, who say the therapy causes a dramatic improvement in patients previously unable to control their high blood pressure with drugs.
It could lead to a completely new approach to managing high blood pressure, which is a significant risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
Study leader professor Murray Esler, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute of Melbourne, said: “The impressive results show that this approach has the potential to become a truly revolutionary treatment.”
Colleague professor Alan Jardine, from the University of Glasgow, said: “This really is an incredibly promising study and the results really are groundbreaking. It’s the most exciting development in this field for many years.”
More than 100 patients took part in the Symplicity HTN-2 trial, reported in an online edition of The Lancet medical journal.
The treatment involved a catheter device delivering a burst of high-energy radio waves to deactivate renal nerves, which play a role in raising blood pressure.
Trial patients saw their blood pressure fall by an average 32 over 12 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) over a period of six months.
Patients had an average blood pressure reading of 178 over 97 at the start of the international trial. A second control group given a dummy version of the treatment had the same blood pressure levels, which did not change significantly during the trial.
- Renal sympathetic denervation in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension (The Symplicity HTN-2 Trial): a randomised controlled trial