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Clinic Enrolling Patients in Hypertension Trial

Hattiesburg Clinic Investigates Novel Approach to Treat Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure

Hypertension Center and Heart & Vascular, both departments at Hattiesburg Clinic, are now enrolling patients to participate in a study investigating a medical device to help lower blood pressure in patients with uncontrolled hypertension, a chronic condition defined as an average systolic blood pressure at or above 140 mmHg. If left untreated, it can significantly increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and death.[1]

Hypertension Center and Heart & Vascular have partnered to offer two new global clinical trials investigating renal denervation with the investigational Symplicity Spyral™ catheter and Symplicity G3™ radiofrequency (RF) generator. Renal denervation is a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure that may potentially decrease the sensitivity 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 two separate trials enrolling at Hattiesburg Clinic are investigating the effect of renal denervation on high blood pressure in patients who are and who are not taking medications to lower their blood pressure.

“We are proud to have been selected to participate in these groundbreaking trials as there is a true unmet need here for patients living in the Pine Belt,” said Bryan Batson, MD, chief medical information officer and hypertension specialist at Hattiesburg Clinic. “We look forward to helping identify which patients might be the most appropriate for this investigational treatment.”

Robert Wilkins, MD, FACC, a cardiologist with Heart & Vascular, will actually perform the procedure. Dr. Wilkins explained that the brain and the kidneys are very important regulatory organs for blood pressure control. He said that’s why this procedure targets the kidneys.

“Using renal denervation, we thread a little electrode catheter into the renal arteries and deliver radio frequency energy through the wall of the artery. The frequency will interrupt the hyperactive impulses sent from your brain to your kidneys, which causes them to release neurohormones that raise blood pressure,” he said. “If we can deliver energy through the renal artery and interrupt those nerve fibers then it could possibly lower blood pressure.”

Wilkins said if this works, it would be the first time the U.S. that an interventional procedure may be effective in treating patients with high blood pressure.

Together these trials are part of Medtronic’s SPYRAL HTN Global Clinical Trial Program, a unique, phased clinical study strategy evaluating the true treatment effect of renal denervation for uncontrolled hypertension.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, call 601.268.5794, or visit www.hypertensiontrial.com.

[1] Chobanian A et al. Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7). Hypertension. 2003;42(6):1206–1252.

The Symplicity™ Spyral™ system is limited to investigational use in the United States and Japan. © 2015 Medtronic, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Katie Townsend


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