December 18, 2012
‘Zapping’ kidney nerves could treat high blood pressure
Inactivating nerves close to the kidney with focussed high
frequency energy waves could be used to reduce high blood pressure
in hard to treat patients, according to new research.
In a follow-up to their recent international multicentre study,
researchers have shown that this new treatment maintains
lower blood pressure for at least six months and
up to a year in patients with resistant hypertension.
High blood pressure is commonly
treated with medications. However, some patients have resistant
hypertension which means that even when taking up to four
different drugs their blood pressure remains too high. The
new once only procedure shows promise as a useful additional way to
help patients whose blood pressure doesn’t respond well to the
This will not be right for everyone and we don’t know yet whether the benefit and safety will be long-lasting
Our Associate Medical
Director Professor Jeremy Pearson said: “Many people don’t realise
that your kidneys play a part in controlling your blood pressure.
This study showed the potential of a new
, which tackles high blood pressure by blocking
the action of specific nerves near the kidney.
“These nerves are important in controlling blood pressure, and
this is a relatively simple procedure that could be
beneficial for people who don’t respond to treatments
“It’s very important to find new treatments for high blood
pressure, because it leads to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and can be difficult to tackle.
However, this new treatment will not be right for
everyone, and we don’t know yet whether the benefit and
safety will be long-lasting.
“In many cases, high blood pressure can be controlled by the
best combination of existing medications alongside
a healthy diet and lifestyle – so if you’re worried about your
treatment, speak to your GP.”
Find out about how high blood
pressure can effect your heart and how you can control it.