Renal denervation for resistant hypertension and beyond

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2015 Mar;22(2):133-9. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2014.11.005.


Despite the availability of more than 125 approved antihypertensive medications, 36 million (48%) of 75 million people with hypertension, including 16 million treated with antihypertensive medications in the United States, do not achieve guideline blood pressure goals known to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and progression of kidney disease; 3% to 6% of these 75 million hypertensive individuals are estimated to have resistant hypertension. A major contributing factor for poor blood pressure control, besides inadequate diuretic therapy, is failure of antihypertensive agents to inhibit the sympathetic nervous system effectively. Consequently, alternative device-driven approaches have been developed. Recent technical advances targeting renal sympathetic nerves, that is, renal denervation therapy, are the focus of more invasive therapies to treat resistant hypertension. Encouraging results from the SYMPLICITY HTN-2 trial, regarding efficacy and safety of renal denervation therapy, were countered by disappointing efficacy results of SYMPLICITY HTN-3. Reasons for these divergent results and the future of the field are discussed.

Keywords: Denervation; Hypertension; Renal; Resistant.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Hypertension* / physiopathology
  • Hypertension* / surgery
  • Kidney* / innervation
  • Kidney* / physiopathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sympathectomy* / adverse effects
  • Sympathectomy* / methods
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents