Thursday, November 18, 2010

Surgery to treat hypertension?

There are probably over 60 million adults living in the United States who have hypertension. Many of them are being treated with medications, but what if surgery could "cure" their hypertension? I think the surgeons would get quite busy treating 60 million adults.

Ardian, a medical device company based in Mountain View, California, has developed a device and a surgical procedure that can lower blood pressure in patients who have difficult-to-treat hypertension. The surgery involves the destruction of nerves in the renal arteries.

A study was recently published in The Lancet titled, "Renal sympathetic denervation in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension (The Symplicity HTN-2 Trial): a randomised controlled trial." Here's what the researchers found:
At 6 months, 41 (84%) of 49 patients who underwent renal denervation had a reduction in systolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg or more, compared with 18 (35%) of 51 controls (p<0·0001).
It will be very interesting to see where this goes.

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