Acute Response to Unilateral Unipolar Electrical Carotid Sinus Stimulation in Patients With Resistant Arterial Hypertension
Bilateral bipolar electric carotid sinus stimulation acutely reduced muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) and blood pressure (BP) in patients with resistant arterial hypertension but is no longer available. The second-generation device uses a smaller unilateral unipolar disk electrode to reduce invasiveness while saving battery life. We hypothesized that the second-generation device acutely lowers BP and MSNA in treatment-resistant hypertensive patients. Eighteen treatment-resistant hypertensive patients (9 women/9 men; 53±11 years; 33±5 kg/m2) on stable medications have been included in the study. We monitored finger and brachial BP, heart rate, and MSNA. Without stimulation, BP was 165±31/91±18 mm Hg, heart rate was 75±17 bpm, and MSNA was 48±14 bursts per minute. Acute stimulation with intensities producing side effects that were tolerable in the short term elicited interindividually variable changes in systolic BP (–16.9±15.0 mm Hg; range, 0.0 to −40.8 mm Hg; P=0.002), heart rate (−3.6±3.6 bpm; P=0.004), and MSNA (−2.0±5.8 bursts per minute; P=0.375). Stimulation intensities had to be lowered in 12 patients to avoid side effects at the expense of efficacy (systolic BP, −6.3±7.0 mm Hg; range, 2.8 to −14.5 mm Hg; P=0.028 and heart rate, −1.5±2.3 bpm; P=0.078; comparison against responses with side effects). Reductions in diastolic BP and MSNA (total activity) were correlated (r2=0.329; P=0.025). In our patient cohort, unilateral unipolar electric baroreflex stimulation acutely lowered BP. However, side effects may limit efficacy. The approach should be tested in a controlled comparative study.
- Received November 13, 2015.
- Revision received October 10, 2015.
- Accepted January 6, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.