This study aimed to investigate the effects of renal denervation (RDN) on sympathetic nerve activity and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome.
Seventeen patients fulfilled at least four of five criteria for metabolic syndrome and under stable use of at least two antihypertensive drugs were randomized in 3 : 1 ratio to RDN (n = 13, 12 men, age: 58 ± 7 years) and control groups (n = 4, three men, age: 60 ± 5 years) and followed up for 3 months. Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) at rest and during standard 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was assessed.
In the RDN group, office and average 24-h blood pressures reduced by 16 ± 21/10 ± 11 mmHg (P = 0.01/0.007) and 14 ± 16/5 ± 8 mmHg (P = 0.008/0.03) respectively; waist circumference reduced by 3.1 ± 3.6 cm (P = 0.008); and resting MSNA reduced from 55 ± 9 bursts per minute to 46 ± 8 bursts per minute (P = 0.0008) at month 3 post-RDN. During OGTT, although blunted MSNA responses were noted at baseline throughout the 120-min test, improved MSNA responses with burst frequency increased to 52 ± 8 bursts per minute (P < 0.001 vs. the resting MSNA, n = 13) at 30 min and to 54 ± 8 bursts per minute (P = 0.004 vs. the resting MSNA, n = 10) at 120 min and were observed at month 3 post-RDN. No such improvements were observed in the controls. No significant change was observed in the HOMA-IR in both groups at month 3.
In this pilot study of patients with metabolic syndrome and associated hypertension, RDN reduced elevated sympathetic nerve activity and restored the normal neural response to oral glucose loading.