Implantable Device May Lower Tough-to-Treat Hypertension

(HealthDay News) –For people with hard-to-control blood pressure, a new implantable device shows promise, researchers report.

The device, surgically placed just below the collarbone, sends a four- to six-volt electrical jolt to the carotid arteries. This is said to lower blood pressure through a process known as baroreflex activation therapy.

The researchers were scheduled to present their findings Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.

“People with resistant hypertension — high blood pressure that doesn’t respond to multi-drug therapy and lifestyle changes — are a growing group, and they’re in desperate need of additional treatments,” study lead author Dr. John D. Bisognano, professor of medicine in the cardiology division of the University of Rochester, said in a meeting news release.

“This system is safe, and its effect is as good as two or three drugs for people who are already taking five or six drugs and still can’t control their hypertension,” said Bisognano, who is also a consultant for CVRx, Inc., the device’s maker, which funded the study.


Though very different in terms of how invasive the various treatments are, CVRx, Rheos and RESPeRATE are technological advances for the treatment of high blood pressure that are increasingly coming to the attention of the medical community.

The March/April 2011 of Cardiology in Review reviewed RESPeRATE and the Rheos. 

In regard to RESPeRATE it noted that it “is a commercially available electronic device that presents a novel nonpharmacological approach to the treatment of hypertension.

The lack of side effects, the demonstrated efficacy, and compliance demonstrate that there is a potential benefit of using this therapy in clinical practice, especially when pharmacologic therapy has already failed to achieve BP control. “

The British Hypertension Society noted in the Strategic Review 2010 – 2016 that  “the expansion of devices such as Resperate, baroreceptor stimulation and renal sympathetic nerve ablation need further evaluation and assessment. The Society will need to stay abreast of these technological developments.

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