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Renal sympathetic denervation as second-line therapy in mild resistant hypertension: A pilot study


Correspondence to: Horst Sievert, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FESC, CardioVascular Center Frankfurt, Seckbacher Landstrasse 65, 60389 Frankfurt, Germany. E-mail:



Catheter-based renal sympathetic denervation (CRD) is associated with significant blood pressure (BP) reductions in patients with severe therapy-resistant hypertension (office systolic BP ≥ 160 mm Hg or ≥ 150 mm Hg in diabetic patients). Effects of renal denervation on BP in patients with milder forms of therapy-resistant hypertension have not been examined. We sought to investigate the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of CRD in patients with longstanding mild hypertension despite treatment with ≥ 3 antihypertensive drugs.


Consecutive patients with office systolic BPs of 140–160 mm Hg despite ≥ 3 antihypertensive medications treated with CRD were included in this prospective study. Procedural safety and adverse events during follow-up were assessed. Clinical evaluations were performed at baseline, 3, and 6 months to determine changes in office systolic BPs, 24-hr ambulatory BPs, and medication doses.


Twenty patients (mean age 60.6 ± 10.8 years; 45% female) treated with an average of 5.4 ± 1.5 antihypertensive drugs were treated with CRD. The procedure was successful in all patients. There were no procedure- or device-related complications. BP at baseline was 148.4/83.0 ± 6.6/11.0 mm Hg and decreased by 5.7/0.6 ± 20.0/8.3 mm Hg (P = 0.2) and 13.1/5.0 ± 13.6/8.3 mm Hg (P < 0.01) at 3 and 6 months, respectively. Comparing baseline and 6-month follow-up, mean ambulatory 24 hr-BP was reduced by 11.3/4.1 ± 8.6/7.3 mm Hg (P < 0.01). Four patients were able to reduce antihypertensive medications prior to their 3-month visit.


As in patients with severe treatment-resistant hypertension, CRD is a safe and effective treatment for patients with milder drug-resistant hypertension. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.