Objective: Percutaneous renal denervation (pRDN) is a new and promising therapy for resistant hypertension. Among patients suspected of having resistant hypertension, the actual presence of this condition needs to be well established; pseudoresistant hypertension and significant white-coat effect (WCE) should be excluded. This analysis presents the results of a standardized screening programme for patients referred for pRDN.
Methods: All patients referred to our centre for pRDN underwent a standardized stepwise screening and were subsequently discussed in a multidisciplinary team. The screening included a 24-h ambulatory blood pressure measurement (ABPM), collection of plasma, urine and saliva, and finally imaging of the renal arteries.
Results: From August 2010 till October 2012, 181 patients were referred for pRDN. Mean blood pressure (BP) was 182/100 mmHg, and median use was three antihypertensives. Ultimately, 121 patients (67%) were excluded from pRDN. Main reasons for exclusion were BP-related. Twenty-three patients (19%) had an office SBP less than 160 mmHg and 26 patients (22%) showed a WCE. Fourteen patients (12%) had a so far undetected underlying cause of hypertension, the majority being primary aldosteronism (n = 11). Nine patients had an ineligible renal anatomy.
Conclusion: A high percentage of patients were excluded from treatment with pRDN due to secondary causes of hypertension, WCE or a BP below the currently advised thresholds. Treatment of these excluded patients would lead to inappropriate use of pRDN, leading most likely to little benefit for the patients and a burden to healthcare. Therefore, it is recommended to use a standardized screening before treatment with pRDN.