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Hospital is first in San Diego to enroll patients in the randomized SYMPLICITY HTN-3 clinical trial.
SAN DIEGO — When multiple medications prove ineffective, patients with high blood pressure are currently left with few treatment options. Sharp Memorial Hospital is the first in San Diego to participate in Medtronic’s SYMPLICITY HTN-3 to test an experimental medical device that aims to lower high blood pressure by using radio frequency energy to disrupt hyperactive nerves that contribute to the condition.
High blood pressure affects an estimated 40 percent of adults in the United States and can lead to serious heart, kidney and blood vessel damage. Traditional treatments for the condition include oral medications that are meant to be taken on a daily basis for years at a time. These drugs are ineffective in some patients, leaving their high blood pressure dangerously uncontrolled.
In the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial, interventional cardiologists thread a small tube in the groin and place a device in the artery leading to the kidney. The device briefly emits radio frequency near renal nerves in an attempt to disrupt hyperactive nerves that may be the root of high blood pressure. Renal nerves communicate information from the kidney to the brain, and vice versa. In people with hypertension, the renal nerves are overactive. Multiple treatments are performed in each artery before the device is removed and, since the procedure is minimally invasive, the patient will typically go home the next day.
“Many of our patients in this trial would not otherwise receive treatment for their high blood pressure,” said Dr. Raghava Gollapudi, an interventional cardiologist affiliated with Sharp Memorial. “Medications currently on the market are effective in the great majority of people suffering from hypertension. However, for the small percentage of people who aren’t being helped by these pills, SYMPLICITY HTN-3 may be an option.”
Principal investigators Dr. Gollapudi and Dr. Ron Miller, a board-certified cardiovascular disease specialist affiliated with Sharp Memorial Hospital, are currently evaluating patients for the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial. The trial is randomized, meaning some patients will receive the investigational treatment while others will receive a placebo. For more information about enrolling in the study, please call 858-244-6800.
Sharp Memorial Hospital is internationally renowned for its work with heart transplant patients, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) procedures and interventional cardiology.
About Sharp Memorial Hospital
With a tradition of excellence since 1955, Sharp Memorial Hospital is recognized internationally for outstanding programs in emergency and trauma services, surgery, cardiac and vascular care, cancer treatment, rehabilitation, orthopedic and neurological services, women’s health, weight- loss surgery, multi-organ transplantation and home care.
Sharp Memorial completed an expansion in 2009 to become San Diego’s first hospital with all private patient rooms. The new 315,000-square-foot, 334-bed structure, named the Stephen Birch Healthcare Center, is also the first hospital to open in San Diego since 1993.
Sharp Memorial is a MAGNET-designated facility for nursing excellence and a Planetree designated hospital for patient- and family-centered care. It is part of Sharp HealthCare, the region’s largest health care provider and a 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. To learn more about Sharp Memorial, 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277).
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Sharp HealthCare is San Diego's health care leader with 7 hospitals and 2,600 affiliated doctors.
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