New Procedure Developed to Treat High Blood Pressure

In the clinical trial on 52 patients, who underwent a procedure called renal sympathetic-nerve ablation, had their blood pressure level declined by 20% that reduced the 50% risk in them of dying from a heart attack or stroke.

The findings of the trial appeared in The Lancet medical journal and presented at the American Heart Association meeting. The technique has been invented by US-based Ardian.

In the procedure that took an hour to perform, a wire was threaded along a vein of the patient into the main blood vessels leading to kidneys. Then, the edge of the wire was heated to burn the nerves. The burning was performed in a spiral way around blood vessels till the time connections were not cut off.

The procedure helped decreasing the systolic blood pressure of patients from 178 to 146, which persisted for a period of six months. The decline in systolic blood pressure to the tune of at least 10mmHG was seen by more than eight in ten, who underwent procedure. No anesthesia was involved in the procedure and there were also not any side-effects. But, the procedure could cost several thousand pounds.

"This trial opens up a potentially exciting new avenue for the treatment of patients with high blood pressure who do not respond well to current medicines", said Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.