November 18, 2010
Drug therapy can effectively lower a patients blood pressure by 10 points on average, but 25% of patients become resistant to their medication and compliance is also problematic. In fact, according to the CDC, 125,000 deaths each year result from not taking the prescribed therapy. Considering hypertension affects almost 75 million Americans at a cost of over $76 billion to treat, this is not a simple problem.
A revolutionary new pacemaker for reducing high blood pressure has emerged and captured my attention. The new technology utilizes an implantable pulse generator designed to electrically stimulate a patients baroreflex system. Marcos Rothstein, MD, an expert nephrologist and professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, explained how the device works. He stated, The pulse generator delivers energy through the wires to the baroreceptors. This current fools the receptors into believing blood pressure is much higher than it really is, and hopefully, the body responds by sending signals that cause the blood pressure to decrease.
Based on clinical trials, stimulating a patients baroreflex system can lower arterial blood pressure in hypertensive patients by an average of 20 mm Hg. Dr. Rothstein stated that this drop is nothing short of revolutionary in the treatment of hypertension.”
With less than 50% of hypertension patients having their blood pressure under control, the potential impact of this technology is tremendous. Early clinical trials show improvement in outcomes when using the implantable device, which is obviously good news for the patient. For the provider, hospitals will have a new revenue-generating, billable procedure as an alternative to treating costly strokes and heart attacks, which could occur if hypertension is left untreated.
To track the devices progress, go to www.cvrx.com.
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