Background: Renal denervation (RDN) with radiofrequency ablation substantially reduces blood pressure in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension. We assessed the long-term antihypertensive effects and safety.
Methods: Symplicity HTN-1 is an open-label study that enrolled 153 patients, of whom 111 consented to follow-up for 36 months. Eligible patients had a systolic blood pressure of at least 160 mm Hg and were taking at least three antihypertensive drugs, including a diuretic, at the optimum doses. Changes in office systolic blood pressure and safety were assessed every 6 months and reported every 12 months. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, numbers NCT00483808, NCT00664638, and NCT00753285.
Findings: 88 patients had complete data at 36 months. At baseline the mean age was 57 (SD 11) years, 37 (42%) patients were women, 25 (28%) had type 2 diabetes mellitus, the mean estimated glomerular filtration rate was 85 (SD 19) mL/min per 1·73 m(2), and mean blood pressure was 175/98 (SD 16/14) mm Hg. At 36 months significant changes were seen in systolic (-32·0 mm Hg, 95% CI -35·7 to -28·2) and diastolic blood pressure (-14·4 mm Hg, -16·9 to -11·9). Drops of 10 mm Hg or more in systolic blood pressure were seen in 69% of patients at 1 month, 81% at 6 months, 85% at 12 months, 83% at 24 months, and 93% at 36 months. One new renal artery stenosis requiring stenting and three deaths unrelated to RDN occurred during follow-up.
Interpretation: Changes in blood pressure after RDN persist long term in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension, with good safety.
Funding: Ardian LLC/Medtronic Inc.
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