Novel Approaches for the Treatment of the Patient with Resistant Hypertension: Renal Nerve Ablation
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Sympathetic innervation of the kidneys plays a major role in the pathogenesis of hypertension through modulation of renin secretion, glomerular filtration rate and renal absorption of sodium. Targeted interventions for renal nerve ablation are being developed for treatment of drug-resistant hypertension in the USA and the rest of the world. Early studies with the use of radiofrequency-based renal denervation systems have shown encouraging results with significant reduction of blood pressure in patients inadequately controlled despite nearly maximal drug therapy regimens. Thus far, the renal denervation procedure has been associated with minimal side effects. Long-term efficacy and safety beyond 3 years needs to be determined for renal nerve ablation. This review focuses on the physiology of the renal sympathetic system, the rationale for renal nerve ablation and current evidence in support of the available therapeutic renal denervation systems.