The device named 'Coupler' is a paper clip-sized implant which is inserted between the artery and vein in the upper thigh in a procedure lasting around 40 minutes under local anesthesia, informed the team from Queen Mary University of London.
"This is an entirely new and highly promising concept in high blood pressure treatment. The 'Coupler' effectively targets the mechanical aspects of how blood circulation works - so it's a totally new approach to controlling blood pressure," explained principal investigator Melvin Lobo.
Developed by the medical device firm ROX Medical, the device also highlights the importance of arterial stiffness as a major cause of resistant high blood pressure and it targets this issue both safely and successfully.
"Once the 'Coupler' is placed, the results are also immediate which again is unique to this treatment," Lobo added. The team compared the effects of the 'Coupler' versus usual medical treatment in 83 patients of whom 44 received the "Coupler" therapy. Patients who received the 'Coupler' experienced a significant and durable reduction in blood pressure.
There was also a reduced number of hypertensive complications and hospital admissions for high blood pressure crises. However, the 'Couplera', like all therapies, did have a side effect.
Nearly 29 percent of patients who received the 'Coupler' did go on to develop leg swelling which meant another short procedure was needed to deal with this (usually a stent in the vein).The paper appeared in the journal The Lancet.