David Kandzari, M.D., director of interventional cardiology and chief scientific officer at Piedmont Heart Institute, has been named the national co-principal investigator of a global clinical trial to treat hypertension.
The trial, which is called SYMPLICITY HTN-4, is entering its fourth stage of investigation and is only available for investigational purposes in the United States. The clinical evaluation program of the system, however, includes more than 5,900 patients worldwide. At this time, Piedmont Heart is a leading site in the world for enrollment in current investigations with this technology.
The SYMPLICITY trial uses a renal denervation device to disrupt the hyperactive nerves surrounding the artery to each kidney that causes increased blood pressure. A tube is inserted in the groin area and the device is placed into the arteries leading to the kidney. Using radio-frequency energy, multiple treatments are performed in each artery to interrupt the renal nerves’ hyperactivity. The device is removed once the trial procedure is complete.
“One of the body’s primary methods for controlling blood pressure involves the sympathetic nervous system, which includes the brain, heart, kidney and blood vessels,” said Dr. Kandzari. “A key factor in long-term blood pressure regulation is the kidney. Renal nerves, which surround the kidney, communicate information from the kidney to the brain, and vice versa. For people with hypertension, the renal nerves are excessively active, which raises blood pressure and contributes to heart, kidney and blood vessel damage.”