Blood pressure therapy fails test

Published: May, 2014

A promising experimental surgery to combat high blood pressured failed an important test, according to findings reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Called renal denervation (RDN), the procedure involves zapping nerve endings in arteries leading to the kidneys using radio waves. Deadening those nerves tweaks the body's system for regulating blood pressure, which brings about a drop in blood pressure.

Preliminary studies of the technique suggested that it could substantially lower blood pressure in people who were unable to control their pressure sufficiently with medication. RDN is performed by threading a wirelike device (catheter) through the femoral artery in the leg into arteries that supply the kidneys.

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