Patients with resistant hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experienced significant drops in blood pressure and improvements in OSA severity following renal denervation (RDN), according to a small randomized trial published June 25 in Hypertension, reports Cardiovascular Business.

Previous trials have been inconclusive regarding RDN’s potential to lower blood pressure, but the authors believe patients with sleep apnea could particularly benefit from the procedure.

“Increased sympathetic activity, consistently evident in patients with OSA, likely plays a key role in the development of resistant hypertension,” wrote lead author Ewa Warchol-Celinska, MD, PhD, with the Institute of Cardiology in Warsaw, Poland, and colleagues. “It has been suggested that renal sympathetic nerves modulate sodium homeostasis, with renal nerve activation enhancing sodium retention. Suppressing effects of sympathetic activation by RDN may blunt or reverse this response.”