Spironolactone versus sympathetic renal denervation to treat true resistant hypertension: results from the DENERVHTA study – a randomized controlled trial

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Both renal denervation (RDN) and spironolactone have been proposed for the treatment of resistant hypertension. However, they have not been compared in a randomized clinical trial. We aimed to compare the efficacy of spironolactone versus RDN in patients with resistant hypertension.


A total of 24 patients with office SBP at least 150 mmHg and 24-h SBP at least 140 mmHg despite receiving at least three full-dose antihypertensive drugs, one a diuretic, but without aldosterone antagonists, were randomized to receive RDN or spironolactone (50 mg) as add-on therapy. Primary endpoint was change in 24-h SBP at 6 months. Comparisons between treatment groups were performed using generalized linear models adjusted by age, sex, and baseline values.


Spironolactone was more effective than RDN in reducing 24-h SBP and 24-h DBP: mean baseline-adjusted differences between the two groups were −17.9 mmHg (95%CI −30.9 to −4.9); P = 0.010 and −6.6 mmHg (95%CI −12.9 to −0.3); P = 0.041, for 24-h SBP and 24-h DBP, respectively. As regards changes in office blood pressure, mean baseline-adjusted differences between the two groups were −12.1 mmHg (95%CI −29.1 to 5.1); P = 0.158 and of −5.3 mmHg (95%CI −16.3 to 5.8); P = 0.332, for office SBP and office DBP, respectively. Otherwise, the decrease of estimated glomerular filtration rate was greater in the spironolactone group; mean baseline-adjusted difference between the two groups was −10.7 ml/min per 1.73 m2 (95%CI −20.1 to −1.4); P = 0.027.


We conclude that spironolactone is more effective than RDN to reduce 24-h SBP and 24-h DBP in patients with resistant hypertension. Therefore, spironolactone should be the fourth antihypertensive drug to prescribe if deemed well tolerated’ in all patients with resistant hypertension before considering RDN.

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