Renal Artery Denervation

Renal artery denervation is a new procedure to treat patients with resistant hypertension. This treatment was pioneered in Melbourne, at the Alfred Baker Research Institute. It has been determined a long time ago that there is a direct relationship between nerve function surrounding the renal arteries and hypertension. Information from the kidneys pass to the brain, which in turn pass information down to the kidneys, which affect the blood pressure. Ablation of these nerves may reduce blood pressure.

This procedure involves keyhole access via the femoral artery, guide catheter advancement to the origin of the renal arteries, and then insertion of a catheter tipped with electrodes at the tip.

Video of procedure:

Dr. Szto was one of 5 global investigators who participated in the first-in-man renal artery denervation study using a unique spiral multi-electrode catheter designed by Cordis, a Johnson and Johnson company, back in 2013. He is experienced in using this catheter as well as catheters produced by Medtronic, St. Jude and Boston Scientific. For patients who are on a multitude of medications but still battle to control high blood pressure, this procedure may be a last ditch effort to try to bring the blood pressure down.

The procedure takes place in a catheter laboratory, and requires a lot of sedation and pain-killers given by vein. Typically this procedure takes about 30 – 60 minutes to perform, and patients stay in hospital overnight before being discharged the next day, on their usual medications. It is our experience that about 50 – 65% of patients will respond to this treatment and it may take up to 6 – 12 months for BP to respond.