Indexed on: 21 Aug '13Published on: 21 Aug '13Published in: Journal of the American Society of Hypertension
Through modulation of renin secretion, glomerular filtration rate, and renal absorption of sodium, the sympathetic innervation of the kidneys plays an important role in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Renal nerve ablation technology is being developed for treatment of drug-treatment-resistant hypertension worldwide. Preliminary research with the use of radiofrequency-based renal denervation systems have demonstrated encouraging results with significant reduction of blood pressure in patients inadequately controlled despite nearly maximal drug therapy regimens. From work done thus far, the renal denervation procedure has not been associated with serious adverse effects. Long-term efficacy and safety still needs to be established for renal nerve ablation. This review focuses on the impact of the renal sympathetic system on blood pressure regulation, the clinical rationale for renal nerve ablation in severe and drug-treatment-resistant hypertension, and current evidence from the more advanced renal denervation devices.