A simple surgical procedure on the kidneys touted as a revolutionary treatment for high blood pressure turns out to be not so revolutionary after all. In a first its kind, a Norwegian clinical trial shows that established, standard drug treatment works better than the new surgical procedure.
Some patients with high blood pressure are resistant to commonly used hypertension medication. New hope was raised for these patients a few years ago with the introduction of a simple surgical procedure called renal sympathetic denervation (RDN).
As recently as 2012, the method was referred to as a possible revolution in hypertension treatment. Tens of thousands of patients have already undergone the procedure in some European countries.
But Chief Physician Aud Høieggen of Oslo University Hospital thinks the scientific basis for the RDN-method is weak. In a study published this week in the prestigious medical journal Hypertension, Aud Høieggen and her researcher colleagues show that the new surgical procedure in fact is less effective than established drug treatment methods.
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