Must-know: Renal denervation trials show the therapy is working

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Renal denervation trials are encouraging

This therapy to treat hypertension has shown encouraging results in patients in a study released this week from Singapore. Studies are showing a success rate of 85%, and approximately one-third of patients reduced their dependence on medication.

Tan Tock Seng hospital chose to try the relatively untested therapy, as more and more patients complained of resistance to medication and medication side effects. Compliance was also an issue. The majority of the hospital’s patients have seen encouraging results. Patients have reduced pill intake and have lost weight.

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Three-year trial data released by Medtronic showed similar success with the procedure. The data from Medtronic’s (MDT) Symplicity HTN-1 renal denervation trial was present at a Cardiology Congress in Amsterdam. Medtronic’s trial is the first and longest-running trial for the therapy. Following 88 patients for 36 months, the results have been significant. Half of patients dropped from a mean systolic blood pressure of 170 mm Hg (millimetre of mercury) to 140 mm Hg. These patients had been resistant to any medication and had been unable to previously lower their blood pressure.

Work ahead

Medtronic’s Symplicity Denervation System is available in Europe, yet not the US, like several similar devices. Other manufacturers operating in the same markets include St. Jude Medical (STJ), Covidien (COV), and Boston Scientific (BSX). Thousands of patients have already been treated in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas—but no system is available in the US yet. Medtronic is a running a pivotal trial, presenting its initial results to the FDA in the first half of 2014.

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