HARRISBURG, PA, May 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UPMC Pinnacle today announced it is enrolling patients to participate in a study of an investigational medical device that aims to help lower blood pressure in patients without medication.  According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 103 million Americans, which is nearly half the adult population, have high blood pressure. 

High blood pressure is a chronic condition that if left untreated can significantly increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and death.   Research has shown that the kidneys play an important role in managing blood pressure. Sometimes, the nerves that control the kidney become overactive, leading to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Hypertension is now defined as average systolic blood pressure at or above 130 mmHg. 

The clinical trial, called SPYRAL HTN-OFF MED, is testing an investigational therapy called renal denervation. During renal denervation, overactive nerves that lead to the kidneys are adjusted from within each artery using active energy (radiofrequency ablation) delivered through a small device called the Symplicity Spyral™ catheter. This investigational procedure offers the possibility of sustained blood pressure reduction. 

UPMC Pinnacle is one of 30 sites worldwide that is enrolling high blood pressure patients who are not taking blood pressure medications or would be willing to stay off their current blood pressure medications during part of the trial.

“High blood pressure is one of the greatest threats to patients globally, including patients living in Central Pennsylvania,” said William Bachinsky, MD, FACC, FSCAI, interventional cardiologist, director of the Cardiovascular Interventional Program and principal investigator at UPMC Pinnacle. “We are proud to have been selected to take part in this trial, and we look forward to helping identify the impact of renal denervation. Our hope is that renal denervation therapy leads to less need for medications long-term for patients with hypertension.”

This trial is part of Medtronic’s SPYRAL HTN Global Clinical Trial Program, a unique, multi-phased clinical study strategy to clearly understand the effect of renal denervation on high blood pressure.  For more information, visit www.highbloodpressuretrials.com. 

About UPMC Pinnacle

UPMC Pinnacle is a nationally recognized leader in providing high-quality, patient-centered health care services in central Pennsylvania and surrounding rural communities. Its medical staff of more than 2,900 physicians and allied health professionals and approximately 11,000 employees serve a 10-county area at outpatient facilities and eight acute care hospitals with 1,360 licensed beds: Carlisle, Community Osteopathic, Hanover, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lititz, Memorial, and West Shore. The not-for-profit system anticipates caring for more than 1.2 million area residents in FY 2018. For more information, visit www.UPMCPinnacle.com.

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[1] Chobanian A et al. Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7). Hypertension. 2003;42(6):1206–1252. 

The Symplicity™ Spyral™ system is limited to investigational use in the United States and Japan. © 2015 Medtronic, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Kelly McCall
UPMC Pinnacle
717-231-8104
kmccall@pinnaclehealth.org