March 11, 2024

New blood-pressure lowering device being used in clinical trial comprising four US healthcare institutions

Editor's Note

The Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai has introduced a pioneering device aimed at treating patients with difficult-to-manage hypertension, making it one of four institutions in the US and the first on the West Coast to make use of this technology, a March 8 press release published by Cedars Sinai reports. This development follows a Food and Drug Administration approval from late 2023, positioning Cedars-Sinai as one of the first in a clinical trial to assess the device's safety and effectiveness.

The device operates by delivering ultrasound energy to deactivate overactive nerves around the kidneys, a common condition in patients with hypertension. This method potentially reduces the need for multiple daily medications, addressing the plight of patients who, despite taking four or more medications, remain at elevated risk for serious health issues like heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.

The procedure involves a catheter inserted through the groin, guided to the renal arteries to transmit ultrasound energy via a transducer. This technique, which takes approximately an hour, offers a new approach to targeting the neurobiological processes involved in hypertension, which may not respond well to traditional medications. Florian Rader, MD, MSc, the medical director at the Hypertension Center of Excellence within the institute and the trial's principal investigator, emphasized the significance of this device as an additional treatment option for those unable to achieve blood pressure control through medications or lifestyle modifications.

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