High blood pressure treatments must be effective and safe in the long term

19 September 2013        

Category: BHF Comment

Artery scan

Researchers say they have successfully used a small stent to join blood vessels together and lower blood pressure.

Professor Andre Ng carried out the operation at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester as part a trial designed to test a new treatment on patients whose high blood pressure can’t be controlled with drugs.

The treatment involves inserting a small nickel-titanium alloy stent into the groin area to join an artery and vein. It allows blood to flow between a high pressure artery and low pressure vein. Professor Ng placed the stent via keyhole surgery and says the patient’s blood pressure was at acceptable levels almost immediately.

Professor Peter Weissberg, our Medical Director, said: “The vast majority of patients with high blood pressure are successfully treated with drugs so, even if this trial was successful, the treatment would only ever apply to a small proportion of patients with high blood pressure.

“While it seems early results have been favourable, hypertension is a life-long problem so the solution needs to be both effective and safe in the long term. Much more research will be needed if this is to become a routine treatment for severe, drug-resistant hypertension.”