World-first high blood pressure treatment trialled in Melbourne

Apr 03, 2009

A world-first breakthrough to treat high blood pressure has been successfully trialled in Melbourne.

The clinical trial showed significant improvement in of participants who were given a new catheter-based treatment where blood pressure lowering medication had failed.

Director of Monash University's Centre of Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics, Professor Henry Krum led the research collaboration between Monash, the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, and St Vincent's Hospital to develop the new surgical technique that disrupts nerves around the kidneys to dramatically reduce pressure.

The technique could benefit those at high risk of or stroke from that resists conventional drug treatments.

Professor Krum presented these data in a late breaking clinical trial session at The American College of Cardiology's 58th Annual Scientific Session earlier this week and was lead author on a simultaneous publication in The Lancet.

The results are set to revolutionise high blood pressure treatment in patients around the world.

Professor Henry Krum said the treatment would benefit those five to twenty per cent of patients with high blood pressure who do not respond to medication.

"Patients who underwent the procedure had a significant reduction in their blood pressure levels and we were able therefore to reduce their risk of severe stroke or heart attack," Professor Krum said.

A total of 50 patients were recruited from Australia and overseas for the trial conducted by a team of researchers, which included Professor Henry Krum, from Monash University, Professor Markus Schlaich and Professor Murray Esler from Baker IDI and Professor Rob Whitbourn from St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne.

Professor Krum said the trial results were the most significant in the treatment of high blood pressure since the introduction of the drugs that are in use today.

"We showed an excellent safety profile of this brief, catheter-based therapy. No long-term adverse events resulted from the procedure. Therapeutic renal denervation led to a large and persistant decrease in blood pressure, which was achieved in patients resistant to multiple existing hypertensive drug types. Moreover, reduction of blood pressure was evident as early as 1 month, was further reduced at 3 months, and persisted through subsequent assessments," Professor Krum said.

The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic and uses radio energy frequency, delivered to the targeted nerve area via catheter. As a result the nerves are silenced in the renal artery, which supplies blood to the kidneys.

Researchers had long-believed that this region was a key regulator of blood pressure, but until these trial results the theory had not been successfully trialled.

"The catheter allowed us to target a very specific area to deliver the right amount of frequency to the nerves without damaging the surrounding areas," Professor Krum said.

Source: Monash University

Explore further: US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Statins shown to lower blood pressure

Apr 14, 2008

A large, randomized drug trial has shown for the first time that statin drugs result in a modest, but significant, reduction in blood pressure. These effects may contribute to the reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular ...

New guidelines for treating resistant hypertension

Jun 06, 2008

Resistant hypertension, blood pressure that remains above goal despite taking three antihypertensive medications or high blood pressure that is controlled but requires four or more medications to do so, may benefit from specialized ...

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

Apr 17, 2014

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...