PHOTO: TRUDI GOMBAR OF ELBURN HAS HER BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKED BY DEBBIE HEIDENREICH, RN, CLINCIAL RESEARCH COORDINATOR, MIDWEST HEART FOUNDATION.
Edward Hospital is the only site in Chicago's suburbs and one of up to 90 clinical sites in the U.S. testing a procedure called renal denervation for treatment-resistant high blood pressure. The Midwest Heart Foundation is coordinating the clinical trial for patients who are on several medications, but whose blood pressure remains extremely high.
The goal is to impact the part of the nervous system that influences blood pressure – the renal nerves, near the kidneys. To do that, an interventional cardiologist inserts a catheter in the groin of the patient and threads it to the artery that supplies blood to the kidney. The catheter, which has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is considered investigational in the U.S., includes an electrode which is turned on at several spots along the artery for a short period of time. The electrode delivers heat by radiofrequency energy to disrupt the normal activity of the sympathetic nerves in that area. The procedure is repeated in the renal artery for the other kidney.
In previous renal denervation studies, some patients have seen immediate reductions in both systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure readings, and even greater reductions one year after the procedure. The study is blind, which means patients won't know until the end if they actually received the treatment.
"We're optimistic this could become the standard of care for patients whose blood pressure still remains uncontrolled despite lifestyle modifications and taking several medications," says Mark Goodwin, MD, medical director of Edward's Cardiac Catheterization Lab and interventional cardiologist with Advocate Medical Group (previously Midwest Heart Specialists).
The Midwest Heart Foundation is recruiting patients for the clinical trial. To be considered, call (630) 873-3403 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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