Specialists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have used a pioneering treatment to reduce high blood pressure in a kidney patient whose condition could not be controlled with conventional medication.
Martin Barnsley, 64, was first diagnosed with high blood pressure 26 years ago, and nothing could control it. This included taking eight different kinds of blood pressure lowering medicines each day to reduce his risk of a life-threatening stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.
Now he is one of the first people in the world with a single kidney to benefit from an advanced type of renal denervation therapy, which is offered to certain patients with drug-resistant high blood pressure.
Renal denervation therapy is where the nerves around the blood vessels leading into the kidneys are destroyed more precisely in a quicker procedure using radiofrequency energy that does not require surgery. The radiofrequency energy disrupts the network of nerves around the kidneys, causing blood pressure to drop significantly in most patients. In Barnsley’s case, the reduction has been about 20% – a drop which is expected to improve further over the next year.
The treatment was carried out by Professor Peter Gaines, a consultant vascular radiologist at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, as part of a five-year research study looking at how effectively the St Jude Medical EnligHTN Renal Denervation System can improve health and lower blood pressure in patients with impaired kidney function.
Around 200,000 people in the UK suffer with drug-resistant high blood pressure, and are 16 times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack than those with well-controlled blood pressure.