Renal artery denervation – a new treatment for high blood pressure

August 26, 2012

Renal artery denervation (RDN) is a new treatment for resistant hypertension, i.e. high blood pressure that is not adequately controlled on multiple medications. It involves using interventional radiology techniques to treat the sympathetic nerves in the main renal arteries, the arteries supplying the kidneys, with a radiofrequency ablation probe mounted on a specially developed angiographic catheter.

RDN is not suitable as a treatment for all cases of high bloood pressure and a detailed work-up and series of investigations is required to select those who will benefit most from it. Though still in its early stages and still the subject of ongoing research the outcomes in terms of blood pressure control and symptomatic improvement look very promising.

NICE, the NHS National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, has pubished NICE Guidance on RDN. The procedure is not yet widely available on the NHS outside research studies and most private health insurers have yet to approve it. It is, however, a rapidly developing field.

Dr. Crowe offers renal artery denervation at the BMI Priory Hospital as part of a multidisciplinary team including Dr. Indranil Das Gupta, Consultant Nephrologist with an interest in hypertension and Dr, Richard Watkin, Consultant Cardiologist. Read the experience of a patient treated by the team in aDaily Express RDN feature.