Integrative blood pressure response to upright tilt post renal denervation

Erin J. Howden, Cara East, Justin S. Lawley, Abigail S.L. Stickford, Myrthe Verhees, Qi Fu, Benjamin D Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Whether renal denervation (RDN) in patients with resistant hypertension normalizes blood pressure (BP) regulation in response to routine cardiovascular stimuli such as upright posture is unknown. We conducted an integrative study of BP regulation in patients with resistant hypertension who had received RDN to characterize autonomic circulatory control. METHODS: Twelve patients (60 ± 9 [SD] years, n = 10 males) who participated in the Symplicity HTN-3 trial were studied and compared to 2 age-matched normotensive (Norm) and hypertensive (unmedicated, HTN) control groups. BP, heart rate (HR), cardiac output (Qc), muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), and neurohormonal variables were measured supine, and 30° (5 minutes) and 60° (20 minutes) head-up-tilt (HUT). Total peripheral resistance (TPR) was calculated from mean arterial pressure and Qc. RESULTS: Despite treatment with RDN and 4.8 (range, 3-7) antihypertensive medications, the RDN had significantly higher supine systolic BP compared to Norm and HTN (149 ± 15 vs. 118 ± 6, 108 ± 8 mm Hg, P < 0.001). When supine, RDN had higher HR, TPR, MSNA, plasma norepinephrine, and effective arterial elastance compared to Norm. Plasma norepinephrine, Qc, and HR were also higher in the RDN vs. HTN. During HUT, BP remained higher in the RDN, due to increases in Qc, plasma norepinephrine, and aldosterone. CONCLUSION: We provide evidence of a possible mechanism by which BP remains elevated post RDN, with the observation of increased Qc and arterial stiffness, as well as plasma norepinephrine and aldosterone levels at approximately 2 years post treatment. These findings may be the consequence of incomplete ablation of sympathetic renal nerves or be related to other factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-641
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Ablation
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Blood pressure
  • Human
  • Hypertension
  • Physiology
  • Sympathetic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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