Renal denervation improves exercise blood pressure: insights from a randomized, sham-controlled trial

Karl Fengler, Diana Heinemann, Thomas Okon, Karoline Röhnert, Thomas Stiermaier, Maximilian von Röder, Christian Besler, Ulrike Müller, Robert Höllriegel, Gerhard Schuler, Steffen Desch, Philipp Lurz*

*Corresponding author for this work
7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Despite the ongoing debate on the role of renal sympathetic denervation (RSD) in the management of therapy-resistant hypertension, little is known about its possible effects on exercise blood pressure (BP), a known predictor for future cardiovascular events. We sought to evaluate the effect of RSD on exercise BP in a randomized, sham-controlled trial in patients with mild hypertension. Methods and results: Patients with therapy-resistant mild hypertension (defined by mean daytime systolic BP between 135 and 149 mmHg or mean daytime diastolic BP between 90 and 94 mmHg on 24-h ambulatory BP measurement) were randomized to either radiofrequency-based RSD or a sham procedure. Patients underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing at baseline and after 6 months. Of the 71 patients randomized, data from cardiopulmonary exercise testing were available for 48 patients (22 in the RSD group, 26 in the sham group). After 6 months, patients undergoing RSD had a significantly lower systolic BP at maximum exercise workload compared to baseline (−14.2 ± 26.1 mmHg, p = 0.009). In contrast, no change was observed in the sham group (0.6 ± 22.9 mmHg, p = 0.45, p = 0.04 for between-group comparison). When analyzing patients with exaggerated baseline exercise BP only, the effect was even more pronounced (RSD vs. sham −29.5 ± 23.4 vs. 0.1 ± 25.3 mmHg, p = 0.008). Conclusion: Exercise systolic BP values in patients with mild therapy-resistant hypertension are reduced after RSD as compared to a sham-procedure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Research in Cardiology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)592-600
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2016

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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