Mount Sinai Uses Catheter-Based Approach To Control Hypertension

Patients with uncontrolled blood pressure who are on medication can enroll in clinical trial.

New York
 – June 12, 2012 /Press Release/  –– 

Physicians at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York are performing a catheter-based approach to controlling hypertension that is minimally invasive and may reduce the number of blood pressure medications needed by many patients. The procedure is being used as part of a clinical study in patients with uncontrolled drug-resistant high blood pressure who are on a stable regimen of blood pressure medications.

The procedure is known as Renal Sympathetic Denervation (RSD), and it has the potential to become an important adjunctive treatment for hypertension in patients seeking a long-term solution for their condition, particularly in patients whose high blood pressure cannot be adequately controlled with medications.

During Renal Sympathetic Denervation, a catheter probe is inserted through a blood vessel in the leg and then guided into the renal artery, which is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the kidney. Brief pulses of radiofrequency energy are then applied by the catheter to modify overactive nerves that are known to contribute to elevated blood pressure. Radiofrequency energy is the same type of energy used to perform routine heart ablation procedures in patients with abnormal heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation.

In previous studies, RSD was considered a safe procedure that can result in significant reductions in blood pressure. On average, the procedure takes  approximately 30 minutes, and patients are able to return home several hours later. 

High blood pressure significantly increases the risk for stroke, coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease and heart failure. At least 50 million Americans have hypertension requiring some form of treatment. However, despite medications and life style changes up to a third of all patients with hypertension do not have adequate blood pressure control.

"Hypertension is the leading attributable risk factor for death around the world," said Vivek Y. Reddy, MD, Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Mount Sinai Heart. Dr. Reddy is the principal investigator of the clinical study.

"A minimally invasive procedure that targets overactive renal nerves can offer a long-term solution in those patients for whom blood pressure medications are not effective," Dr. Reddy said. "In the future, the number of people who could potentially benefit from this is quite substantial, perhaps as many as 20 million individuals just in the U.S. who are now currently on medication."

Up to 500 patients aged 18-85 will be enrolled in the RSDN study (called SAVE) going on now at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Each patient will be closely followed for four years following their RSDN procedure to assess the long-term effectiveness and safety of the procedure. Patients must be willing to  adhere to study requirements and comply with post-procedural follow-up requirements. All patients who enroll in the study and are medically suitable for RSDN will receive the treatment.

(Patients wishing to enroll in the study can contact either Anaya Abdullah [212-241-4313 or] or Betsy Ellsworth [212-241-8575 or].)

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center 

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report. 

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation’s top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and U.S. News & World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place. 

For more information, visit

Find Mount Sinai on: 
Twitter @mountsinainyc