Renal denervation (RDN) is a catheter-based ablation procedure designed to treat resistant hypertension (RH). The objective of our study is to determine the effect of RDN on blood pressure and renal function in patients with RH in comparison to medical therapy alone. We performed an extensive literature search for randomized control trials (RCT) reporting office and 24 hr. blood pressure changes and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at baseline and 6 months. We calculated a weighted standardized mean difference of blood pressure and renal outcomes between RDN and control groups using random effects models. Our search yielded 608 studies of which we included 15 studies for the final analysis. A total of 857 patients were treated with RDN and 616 patients treated with medical therapy ± sham procedure. Only 5 studies were double-blinded RCT with sham control. The adjusted standardized mean difference in the change in office based systolic and diastolic pressures (p = 0.18; p = 0.14); 24 hr. systolic and diastolic pressures (p = 0.20; p = 0.18); and eGFR (p = 0.20) from baseline to 6 months is statistically insignificant with significant heterogeneity. Subgroup analysis showed that among sham controlled trials, 24 hr. systolic blood pressure showed a modest but statistically significant benefit favoring renal denervation in patients with RH. Our meta-analysis of 15 RCTs showed no significant benefit of RDN on blood pressure control in patients with resistant hypertension. Subgroup analysis of sham control studies showed a modest benefit in 24 hr. systolic blood pressure at 6 months with RDN.
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