Skip to main content

Barts trials treatment for high blood pressure with revolutionary potential

A treatment for hypertension involving minor kidney surgery, shown to be more effective in reducing high blood pressure than medical therapy alone, is being trialled at Barts and The London NHS Trust and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Published on:
Professor Mark Caulfield
Professor Mark Caulfield

Together the Trust and School are providing one of the international trial sites - and one of only three in the UK - for the catheter-based treatment whose primary results, published in The Lancet today (17 November) demonstrate a substantial and sustained blood pressure reduction.
The study forms part of the Barts and The London’s National Institute of Health Research Unit (NIHR) programme to bring novel treatments into the clinic.  It is being conducted through the European Society of Hypertension Centre of Excellence based at Barts and The London and the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary, University of London.
The first patient in the UK received the innovative procedure at the London Chest Hospital in December 2009.  Volunteer patients were recruited from the hypertension clinic at Barts Hospital and from the William Harvey Research Institute's Clinical Research Centre, part of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. 
Joint-leaders of the trial were Dr Mel Lobo, Consultant Physician and Clinical Hypertension Specialist and Professor Mark Caulfield, Director of the William Harvey Research Institute and the NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit. 
Professor Caulfield said: "I am delighted that this study facilitated by Barts and The London National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Unit has shown substantial falls in blood pressure in patients with severe uncontrolled hypertension on multiple medicines. It offers a novel route to reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular risk in people who have exhausted conventional treatment. The long term effects will be assessed over the coming years in this and other studies but we are delighted to have had the opportunity to involve our patients in this study which may accelerate transfer of this therapy into the National Health Service.”

Professor Caulfield is also President of the British Hypertension Society.


The William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI) at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry offers a vibrant, fully integrated clinical and basic science environment devoted to understanding basic pathogenic mechanisms and therapeutic innovation in cardiovascular, inflammation and endocrine diseases

Other clinicians involved in the trial at Barts and The London NHS Trust and its School of Medicine were:  Professor Martin Rothman, Dr Manish Saxena, Doctors Ajay Jain, Matthew Matson, Ian Renfrew and David Collier. 

Back to top