Research Briefs: Device treats severe hypertension

An implantable device which stimulates the body's own BP regulatory system has shown promise for the treatment of very severe hypertension, according to preliminary data presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Chicago last week.

The first 10 patients given the device all had systolic BP of 160mmHg or greater despite being on at least three antihypertensives. After the device had been working for three months, this fell by an average of 22mmHg and diastolic BP fell by an average of 18mmHg. A larger trial is planned (www.americanheart.org).

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