There have been some recent studies exploring the Hypertension use of ultrasound devices as a potential non-invasive treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure).
One study conducted at Tohoku University in Japan found that using a low-intensity ultrasound device on the carotid artery (located in the neck) of hypertensive patients lowered their blood pressure significantly. The researchers believe that ultrasound waves stimulate the release of a molecule called nitric oxide, which helps to relax the blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Another study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco also found that using an ultrasound device on the carotid artery could lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The researchers in this study used a higher-intensity ultrasound device and found that it was effective in reducing blood pressure for up to six months after treatment.
While these studies are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of using ultrasound devices as a treatment for hypertension. It is also important to note that hypertension is a complex condition that can have many underlying causes, and treatment may vary depending on the individual. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment for hypertension.
How blood pressure is measured
Blood pressure is typically measured using a device called a sphygmomanometer. This device consists of an inflatable cuff that is wrapped around the upper arm, a pressure gauge to measure the pressure within the cuff, and a stethoscope to listen to the sounds of blood flow.
To measure blood pressure, the cuff is inflated to a pressure higher than the systolic pressure (the pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting) and then gradually released. As the pressure in the cuff is released, the healthcare provider listens with the stethoscope to the sounds of blood flow in the brachial artery, which is located in the upper arm.
The healthcare provider will listen for two sounds, the first of which is the systolic pressure and the second of which is the diastolic pressure (the pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxed). The systolic pressure is the higher of the two numbers and represents the maximum pressure in the arteries during a heartbeat. The diastolic pressure is the lower of the two numbers and represents the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.
Blood pressure can also be measured using automatic devices that use oscillometric measurements. These devices use an electronic sensor to detect blood flow and calculate blood pressure based on the pressure changes in the cuff. However, manual measurement with a sphygmomanometer is still considered the gold standard for accurate blood pressure measurement.
Renal denervation is a medical procedure that involves the destruction or removal of the nerves in the renal arteries that carry signals to the kidneys, which can help to lower blood pressure in patients with resistant hypertension (high blood pressure that is difficult to control with medications).
The renal nerves are part of the sympathetic nervous system, which plays a role in regulating blood pressure. In some patients with hypertension, the sympathetic nervous system is overactive, leading to high blood pressure. Renal denervation aims to disrupt this overactive nerve activity and reduce blood pressure.
The procedure is typically performed using a catheter-based approach, in which a catheter is inserted through a small incision in the groin and threaded through the arteries to the renal arteries. Once the catheter is in place, the nerves are either destroyed using radiofrequency energy or removed using an ablation device.
Studies have shown that renal denervation can be effective in lowering blood pressure in patients with resistant hypertension. However, the procedure is not without risks, including bleeding, infection, and damage to the renal arteries or other nearby structures. It is also not a first-line treatment for hypertension and is typically reserved for patients who have not responded to other treatments, such as medications and lifestyle changes. As with any medical procedure, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare professional before undergoing renal denervation.
Not for everyone, at least not yet
You are correct that renal denervation is not appropriate for everyone with hypertension, at least not yet. While some studies have shown promising results, the procedure is still considered experimental and is not widely available.
Currently, renal denervation is typically reserved for patients with resistant hypertension who have not responded to other treatments, such as medications and lifestyle changes. It is also important to note that renal denervation is not a cure for hypertension, and patients may still need to continue taking medications or making lifestyle changes to manage their blood pressure.
Furthermore, while renal denervation has shown some success in lowering blood pressure, there is still ongoing research to determine its long-term safety and effectiveness. Some studies have reported that the initial blood pressure-lowering effects of renal denervation may not be sustained over time.
As with any medical procedure, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare professional before considering renal denervation as a treatment option for hypertension. Additionally, patients should continue to follow their doctor’s advice for managing their blood pressure and should not make any changes to their treatment regimen without first consulting with their healthcare provider.