Renal denervation therapy: A cure for hypertension?

Narayana Hrudayalaya, a hospital in Bangalore, became the first in the state to conduct a path-breaking innovation called the renal denervation therapy which is being touted as a potential treatment for hypertension.

Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. According to conservative estimates over 1 billion people around the world suffer from hypertension. Around 95% hypertension patients have no underlying physiological cause for the disease whereas the remaining 5% are affected because of other conditions that affect the heart, kidney, arteries or endocrine system.

In renal artery denervation, a specialised catheter is directed into the kidney arteries under fluoroscopy and controlled radio frequency energy is delivered through the catheter at multiple predetermined spots. This is expected to produce controlled injury to the renal nerves which will eventually result in the reduction of blood pressure. The procedure approximately takes 40 minutes. Research conducted on both animals and humans have shown considerable reduction in blood pressure in 6 to 8 weeks.

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A senior cardiologist at the hospital said that the procedure had been successfully performed in the west for over a year now but this is the first time it took place in India.

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