, also called renal
ablation is a minimally invasive procedure where the nerves in the renal artery
(the artery supplying to the kidney) are disrupted. This procedure has been
found to be useful in patients with hypertension that is resistant to usual
treatment. It reduces blood pressure in these patients and the effect has been
maintained for more than 24 months.
is known to be associated with
inflammation of blood vessels and endothelial dysfunction (endothelium is the
inner layer of the blood vessels). Researchers carried out a study to determine
whether treatment with renal denervation can also reduce vascular inflammation
or affect endothelial function.
A study was
conducted in 63 patients with resistant hypertension at an average age of 61 years.
At the beginning of the study, the study participants had a high body mass
index, and were taking an average of 4.6 medications for hypertension.
After renal denervation, BP was
significantly reduced from 169/90 mmHg at baseline () to 156/84 mmHg three
months following the procedure. This reduction was sustained even at 12 months
follow-up. Also, there was no significant change in the heart rate.
The researchers found that there
was no significant change in endothelial function and various inflammatory
markers from the baseline at the end of 3 months after the administration of
renal denervation. Only the level of nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA)
significantly decreased, which was possibly due to reduced nervous activity in
the adipose tissue following the procedure. The activity of the sympathetic
nervous system was reduced in the muscle and kidneys, but the whole body
sympathetic activity did not change significantly over 3 months.
The researchers thus concluded
that though renal denervation causes a reduction in blood pressure, it does not
affect vascular inflammation and endothelial function.