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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2011, Article ID 964394, 5 pages
Review Article

Carotid Baroreceptor Stimulation for the Treatment of Resistant Hypertension

1Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20422, USA
2Veterans Affairs Medical Center, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037, USA
32nd Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54643 Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 2 October 2010; Accepted 28 February 2011

Academic Editor: Henry Punzi

Copyright © 2011 Vasilios Papademetriou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Interventional activation of the carotid baroreflex has been an appealing idea for the management of resistant hypertension for several decades, yet its clinical application remained elusive and a goal for the future. It is only recently that the profound understanding of the complex anatomy and pathophysiology of the circuit, combined with the accumulation of relevant experimental and clinical data both in animals and in humans, has allowed the development of a more effective and well-promising approach. Indeed, current data support a sustained over a transient reduction of blood pressure through the resetting of baroreceptors, and technical deficits have been minimized with a subsequent recession of adverse events. In addition, clinical outcomes from the application of a new implantable device (Rheos) that induces carotid baroreceptor stimulation point towards a safe and effective blood pressure reduction, but longer experience is needed before its integration in the everyday clinical practice. While accumulating evidence indicates that carotid baroreceptor stimulation exerts its benefits beyond blood pressure reduction, further research is necessary to assess the spectrum of beneficial effects and evaluate potential hazards, before the extraction of secure conclusions.