Renal Nerve Stimulation as Procedural End Point for Renal Sympathetic Denervation
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Purpose of Review
Renal sympathetic denervation (RDN) as treatment option for hypertension has a strong rationale; however, variable effects on blood pressure (BP) have been reported ranging from non-response to marked reductions in BP. The absence of a procedural end point for RDN is one of the potential factors associated with the variable response. Studies have suggested the use of renal nerve stimulation (RNS) to adequately address this issue. This review aims to provide an overview of the clinical and experimental data available regarding the effects of RNS in the setting of RDN.
Animal studies have shown that high-frequency electrical stimulation of the sympathetic nerves in the adventitia of the renal arteries elicits an increase in BP and leads to an increased norepinephrine spillover as a marker of increased sympathetic activity and these effects of stimulation were attenuated or blunted after RDN. In a human feasibility study using RNS both before and after RDN, similar BP responses were observed. Moreover, in patients with resistant hypertension, RNS-induced changes in BP appeared to be correlated with 24-h BP response after RDN. These data suggest that RNS is a useful tool to identify renal sympathetic nerve fibers in patients with treatment-resistant hypertension undergoing RDN, and to predict the likely effectiveness of RDN treatments.
In acute procedural settings both in animal and human models, RNS elicits increase in BP and HR before RDN and these effects are blunted after RDN. Up to now, there is preliminary evidence that the RNS-induced BP changes predict 24-h ABPM outcome at follow-up in patients with resistant hypertension. Of note, studies are small sized and results of large trials comparing conventional RDN to RNS-guided RDN are warranted.
KeywordsRenal nerve stimulation Renal nerve denervation Drug-resistant hypertension
Ambulatory blood pressure measurements
Diastolic blood pressure
Renal nerve denervation
Renal nerve stimulation
Systolic blood pressure
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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