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Treatment resistant arterial hypertension is associated with excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Electrical carotid sinus stimulators engaging baroreflex afferent activity have been developed for such patients. Indeed, baroreflex mechanisms contribute to long-term blood pressure control by governing efferent sympathetic and parasympathetic activity. The first-generation carotid sinus stimulator applying bilateral bipolar stimulation reduced blood pressure in a controlled clinical trial but nevertheless failed to meet the primary efficacy endpoint. The second-generation device utilizes smaller unilateral unipolar electrodes, thus decreasing invasiveness of the implantation while saving battery. An uncontrolled clinical study suggested improvement in blood pressure with the second-generation device. We hope that these findings as well as preliminary observations suggesting cardiovascular and renal organ protection with electrical carotid sinus stimulation will be confirmed in properly controlled clinical trials. Meanwhile, we should find ways to better identify patients who are most likely to benefit from electrical carotid sinus stimulation.


Kristine Chobanyan-Jürgens, Jens Jordan. Electrical carotid sinus stimulation: chances and challenges in the management of treatment resistant arterial hypertension. Current hypertension reports. 2015 Sep;17(9):587

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PMID: 26208917

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