Joseph Hospital of Orange on July 11 enrolled its first patient as
part of a national clinical trial conducted by Medtronic
Inc. for a renal denervation procedure designed to eliminate
treatment-resistant hypertension. St. Joseph Hospital is the only
medical center in the Los Angeles/Orange County metro area conducting
the clinical trial and is one of only four hospitals statewide
conducting the study.
Approximately 76 million Americans suffer from hypertension and about 9
million get no relief from available medicines. High blood pressure and
chronic hypertension can lead to heart failure, heart disease, stroke
and chronic kidney disease. Treatment-resistant hypertension is defined
as systolic blood pressure that remains high (greater than 140/90 mmHg)
despite treatment with three or more antihypertensive medications.
The renal denervation procedure is a minimally invasive, catheter-based
method for regulating the output of nerves that line the walls of the
arteries leading to the kidneys. These nerves are part of the
sympathetic nervous system, which is one of the ways the body controls
blood pressure. In people with hypertension, the renal nerves are
hyperactive, raising blood pressure and contributing to heart, kidney
and blood vessel damage.
The renal denervation technology has shown to reduce blood pressure by
about 30 points in patients with resistant HTN (those who cannot be
controlled by medication alone). Now this technology is available to
those suffering from this devastating affliction, appropriately known as
the "quiet killer."
"This is one of the most anticipated clinical trials in years addressing
an important public health issue," said interventional radiologist
Mahmood K. Razavi M.D., of St. Joseph Hospital who is an investigator on
this study. "We enrolled our first patient in the clinical trial on
Wednesday when we conducted a procedure in our Interventional Radiology
suite. We are the only center in the region and one of only a handful in
California who can perform this procedure for patients with resistant