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J Hum Hypertens. 2000 Dec;14(12):795-8.

The effect of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in patients with therapy-resistant hypertension.

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Department of Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Ostra, Göteborg, Sweden.



Afferent nerve stimulation, such as acupuncture and transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), has shown a blood pressure reduction in both animal and man. In the present open and non-controlled study we investigated the effect on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure of low frequency TENS in a group of hypertensive subjects who do not respond properly to pharmacological treatment.


Twelve patients were investigated. The patients were treated with TENS at two acupoints on both forearms for 30 min twice daily during 4 weeks. 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring was recorded 1 week before, at start, at the end and finally 1 week after the TENS treatment.


The blood pressure did not change significantly during the run-in period. After 4 weeks of TENS, the mean systolic blood pressure decreased by 6.3 mm Hg (P < 0.05) and the mean diastolic blood pressure decreased by 3.7 mm Hg (P < 0.05). The blood pressure reduction remained unchanged 1 week after treatment. There was no change in mean heart rate.


The present study suggests that continuous TENS may have additional blood pressure-lowering properties in hypertensive patients who do not respond properly to pharmacological treatment. The effect of TENS may also have a prolonged effect. Journal of Human Hypertension (2000) 14, 795-798

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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