Renal denervation by ultrasound, a surgical procedure that is said to be minimally invasive is the new way to go for controlling high blood pressure. This was revealed by a recent international clinical trial conducted in this context.
The results were published in the journal ‘Circulation’. The blood pressure of participants undergoing the ultrasound surgery was maintained at lower levels for a period of six months in comparison to those who underwent a sham operation.
The procedure aims to lower the over-activity in the nerves network of the kidneys which helps to reduce the high blood pressure levels. The ultrasound waves emanating from the device that is inserted to go close to the artery in the kidney via the groin of the patient does the required work. The nerve fibers enclosing the artery are heated and damaged by the waves and this reduces their over-activity. This is a great relief to individuals with high blood pressure levels which are difficult to be controlled with medication and changes in lifestyle.
Patients who underwent the ultrasound surgery showed positive results as against those who had the sham operation, for a six month period. 58% of the former group had retained their maintained lowered blood pressure as against the 42% in the sham operation group; 35.8% of patients had not resumed their blood pressure medication at the end of six months compared to the 15.5% of the group undergoing sham operation. Average reduction reported was about 18.1 mm Hg in the group undergoing the treatment while it was 15.6 mm Hg in the other group. No participant faced any safety issues.
The study was sponsored by the company manufacturing the renal denervation device used by the surgeons in the clinical trial.
Larger trials are underway to test the effectiveness and safety in the long term period. If they show positive results then renal denervation procedure could act as a boon to patients living with difficult to control blood pressure levels.