Symplicity trial evaluates effectiveness of high blood pressure treatment

January 24, 2012

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the single most common contributor to death worldwide and a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure and kidney disease. In many cases diet, lifestyle changes or prescription medications can help control high blood pressure.

Some patients, however, do not respond to these therapies despite taking multiple blood pressure medications. These resistant hypertension patients may be candidates for a clinical trial at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute investigating a device intended to regulate the nerves leading in and out of the kidneys, which play a central role in blood pressure control.

The Symplicity® Renal Denervation System is used to conduct a minimally invasive procedure to therapeutically disrupt the nerves via the renal arteries using radio frequency energy. The system consists of a flexible catheter introduced through the femoral artery in the upper thigh and is threaded through the renal artery near each kidney. Once in place, the tip of the catheter delivers low-power radio frequency energy to the surrounding nerves, resulting in lowered fluid and salt retention known to increase blood pressure.

The SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial is designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the investigational device and procedure.

“Despite the availability of many safe and effective drug therapies, a significant percentage of patients is still unable to achieve adequate blood pressure control,” said Steven Marso, M.D., principal investigator. “The Symplicity trial is investigating a potential option.”

The trial requires the expertise of interventionalists, physicians technically adept at catheter procedures in the catheterization lab. Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute boasts a long history of internationally recognized expertise in interventional cardiology. The program is among the world’s largest and frequently hosts workshops to educate cardiologists around the globe in leading-edge procedures.

For more information about the trial, call 816-932-6275.