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Annu Rev Med. 2014;65:349-65. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-051812-145353.

Renal sympathetic denervation for the treatment of refractory hypertension.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Changi General Hospital, Singapore 529889; email: Gerard_leong@cgh.com.sg.

Abstract

Resistant hypertension poses significant health concerns. There are strong demands for new and safe therapies to control resistant hypertension while addressing its common causes, specifically poor compliance to lifelong polypharmacy, lifestyle modifications, and physician inertia. The sympathetic nervous system plays a significant pathophysiological role in hypertension. Surgical sympathectomy for blood pressure reduction is an old but extremely efficacious therapeutic concept, now abandoned with the dawn of a safer contemporary pharmacology era. Recently, clinical studies have revealed promising results for safe and sustained blood pressure reduction with percutaneous renal sympathetic denervation. This is a novel, minimally invasive, device-based therapy, specifically targeting and ablating the renal artery nerves with radiofrequency waves without permanent implantation. There are also reported additional benefits in related comorbidities, such as impaired glucose metabolism, renal impairment, left ventricular hypertrophy, heart failure, and others. This review focuses on how selective renal sympathetic denervation works, its present and potential therapeutic indications, and its future directions.

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