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New Procedure May Aid Stubborn High Blood Pressure

Treatment is ‘Not a Cure’

“This is not a cure for hypertension,” Esler says. Most people with resistant hypertension will continue to need some medication, he says.

After the procedure, some people were able to lower the number or dose of the drugs they were taking, though the reductions weren’t significantly different between the treated and comparison patients.

For the most part, the procedure seemed to be safe. Two patients in the study experienced complications. In one case, the catheter went through the wall of the artery in the kidney. Surgeons controlled the bleeding with a stent. In another case, a patient was hospitalized after experiencing an episode of extreme low blood pressure. That patient received IV fluids and had their blood pressure medications adjusted.

Two other patients had episodes of extreme high blood pressure that required hospitalization after their procedures.

“We don’t want to overhype it, because this is a new procedure, but we have not seen anything really [negative] come out of this so far,” Singh says.

One question that hasn’t been answered yet is whether reducing blood pressure this way will lower the risk of health problems caused by high blood pressure, like heart attacks and strokes.

“We think that it will, because medication does that, but it’s just too early to say for sure,” Singh says.

The study is published in the journal Circulation.

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