The Role of Renal Nerve Ablation for the Management of Resistant Hypertension and other Disease Conditions: Benefits and Concerns
The sympathetic nervous system is overactivated in resistant hypertension and several other disease conditions.
A reciprocal association between the brain and the kidney has been described, in that sympathetic overactivity affects renal
function while renal injury stimulates central sympathetic drive. Renal nerve ablation has been recently introduced as a
potential alternative for the management of resistant hypertension, mainly due to current limitations in pharmacologic antihypertensive
therapy. Data accumulated thus far point towards an efficacious and safe interventional method for the
management of treatment resistance, with additional benefits on glucose metabolism and cardiac structure and function.
Furthermore, beneficial effects have been observed in patients with chronic kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, polycystic
ovary syndrome, and sympathetically driven tachyarrhythmias. However, as with every novel technique, several
questions need to be answered and concerns need to be addressed before the wide application of this interventional approach.
Keywords: Renal nerve ablation, renal sympathetic denervation, resistant hypertension, chronic kidney disease, obstructive
sleep apnea, polycystic ovary syndrome, glucose metabolism, left ventricular hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction.
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