The effect of renal denervation added to standard pharmacologic treatment versus standard pharmacologic treatment alone in patients with resistant hypertension: rationale and design of the SYMPATHY trial

Am Heart J. 2014 Mar;167(3):308-314.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2013.11.010. Epub 2013 Dec 4.


The first studies on renal denervation (RDN) suggest that this treatment is feasible, effective, and safe in the short term. Presently available data are promising, but important uncertainties exist; therefore, SYMPATHY has been initiated. SYMPATHY is a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial in patients randomized to RDN in addition to usual care (intervention group) or to continued usual care (control group). Randomization will take place in a ratio of 2 to 1. At least 300 participants will be included to answer the primary objective. Sample size may be extended to a maximum of 570 to address key secondary objectives. The primary objective is to assess whether RDN added to usual care compared with usual care alone reduces blood pressure (BP) (ambulatory daytime systolic BP) in subjects with an average daytime systolic BP ≥135, despite use of ≥3 BP-lowering agents, 6 months after RDN. Key secondary objectives are evaluated at 6 months and at regular intervals during continued follow-up and include the effect of RDN on the use of BP-lowering agents, in different subgroups (across strata of estimated glomerular filtration rate and of baseline BP), on office BP, quality of life, and cost-effectiveness.

Trial registration: NCT01850901.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Netherlands
  • Renal Artery / innervation*
  • Sympathectomy / economics
  • Sympathectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents

Associated data