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UPMC Pinnacle Tuesday announced it is enrolling patients to participate in a study of a medical device that aims to help lower blood pressure without medication.

The health system said research has shown kidneys play an important role in managing blood pressure, with the nerves that control the kidneys sometimes becoming overactive, leading to high blood pressure or hypertension.

The clinical trial, called SPYRAL HTN-OFF MED, is testing a therapy called renal denervation. During renal denervation, overactive nerves that lead to the kidneys are adjusted from within each artery using energy (radiofrequency ablation) delivered through a small device called Symplicity Spyral catheter.

The health system said the 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 medication 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 Dr. William Bachinsky, 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.”

For more information, visit www.highbloodpressuretrials.com.

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