Patient Selection for Renal Denervation in Hypertensive Patients: What Makes a Good Candidate?

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Renal denervation (RDN) as a therapeutic intervention in patients with hypertension has been intensively studied for over a decade, yet a critical question remains unanswered: what kind of patients are the ideal target population for RDN to achieve its maximum clinical benefit? We herein provide a review of current literature to answer questions related to patient selection to identify populations that will benefit most from RDN, drawing first from human studies but also important clues derived from preclinical animal models. Different aspects that may influence the selection of patients such as the cause of hypertension, the severity of hypertension, concurrent pharmaceutical treatment, renal function, and renal artery anatomy are discussed. Based on current evidence, patients who have severe primary hypertension, regardless of medication or degree of renal dysfunction, who have an accessible accessory renal artery, can achieve a desirable response if a thorough ablation is achieved. In preclinical models, as in humans, RDN shows variable impact, with evidence indicating it does not work in specific conditions such as reduced renal mass, salt-sensitive hypertension, and autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. The thresholds, however, for indicators are such that it is still not possible to reliably predict which patients could benefit from the technique. Confirmation of predictive factors and identification of biomarkers are needed before RDN can be integrated in clinical practice on clear and reliable grounds.




Li, S., & Phillips, J. K. (2022). Patient Selection for Renal Denervation in Hypertensive Patients: What Makes a Good Candidate? Vascular Health and Risk Management. Dove Medical Press Ltd.

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