Chronic Vagal Nerve Stimulation in Stroke-Prone SHR

Can restoring parasympathetic nerve activity in patients with primary hypertension prevent cardiovascular end organ damage? In this podcast Associate Editor Debra Diz (Wake Forest University School of Medicine) interviews lead author Harald Stauss (University of Iowa) and content expert Douglas Martin (University of South Dakota) about the study by Chapleau et al. Referred to as a “a technological tour de force” that combined chronic vagal nerve stimulation, chronic telemetric blood pressure measurements, and in vivo imaging of the long posterior ciliary artery (LPCA) using the slit lamp approach to assess endothelial function, the authors found that endothelial function improved, without changes in blood pressure. Does this approach have the potential to interrupt the pathway between blood pressure and end organ damage, when lowering blood pressure could lead to adverse clinical ramifications in elderly fall risk patients, for example? Listen and learn.

Mark W. Chapleau, Diane L Rotella, John J Reho, Kamal Rahmouni, Harald M. Stauss Chronic Vagal Nerve Stimulation Prevents High-Salt Diet-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction and Aortic Stiffening in Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published May 20, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00043.2016

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