(HealthDay News) – For patients with treatment-resistant hypertension and chronic kidney disease, renal denervation (RDN) reduces blood pressure (BP) and can slow renal function decline, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16–19 in Dallas.

Roland E. Schmieder, MD, from University Hospital Erlangen in Germany, and colleagues examined whether reducing BP by RDN preserves renal function in 15 patients with treatment-resistant hypertension (while on ≥3 antihypertensives) and chronic kidney disease. Participants underwent catheter-based RDN with the Symplicity Flex catheter (Medtronic). Renal function was assessed up to three years before and one year after RDN.

The researchers found that brachial office BP was reduced by 26/6mmHg, aortic systolic BP by 24mmHg, and average systolic 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure by 13mmHg at one year after RDN. The mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline was −5.6ml/min/1.73m² per year before RDN; after RDN, eGFR remained stable or increased. The difference between eGFR change before and after RDN was significant (P=0.021).

“Our pilot study data indicate interventional treatment with renal denervation decreases blood pressure, and most important, slows or even halts the decline of renal function in treatment-resistant patients with chronic kidney disease,” Schmieder said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Medtronic, which manufactures the Symplicity Flex catheter.

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