Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have invented a
revolutionary device that can significantly lower blood pressure among patients
with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
The device was developed by ROX Medical and named the 'Coupler'.
The device is basically a paper clip sized implant, which is inserted between
the artery and vein in the upper thigh, in a procedure lasting around 40
minutes under local anaesthetic.
Scientists led a randomised, blinded endpoint clinical trial with
patients from multiple European Centres of Hypertension Excellence - including
the Barts Blood Pressure Clinic at Barts Health NHS Trust in east London - all
of whom had resistant high blood pressure and had not responded to at least
three types of drug treatment.
The team compared the effects of the Coupler versus usual medical
treatment in 83 patients of whom 44 received the ROX Coupler therapy. Patients
who received the Coupler experienced a significant and durable reduction in
blood pressure. There were also a reduced number of hypertensive complications
and hospital admissions for high blood pressure crises.
The Coupler also worked well among patients who had failed to
respond to renal denervation (another new approach to treating high blood
pressure), suggesting the Coupler targets different mechanisms of blood
However, patients who had not previously been treated with renal
denervation experienced the same level or more of blood pressure reduction. In
addition, unlike renal denervation, this new device-based treatment is fully
reversible, immediate and pain-free.