Heating the kidneys with high energy waves could be the latest treatment for a weak heart.
Doctors from Imperial College London are using this technique on patients with heart failure to relieve their symptoms. The treatment, which numbs the nerves that carry signals from the kidney to the brain, has previously been used to treat high blood pressure.
Now, scientists say it could help with heart failure, as many of the symptoms are linked to the kidneys. It seems the kidneys mistakenly tell the brain to send the body into ‘emergency mode’, which increases heart rate and raises blood pressure, placing even greater strain on the heart and triggering symptoms such as breathlessness and fatigue.
The theory is that cutting off certain nerves signals between the kidney and the brain will improve heart failure symptoms.
About 900,000 Britons suffer from this condition, with one in 15 people over the age of 75 developing it. Heart failure can be triggered by high blood pressure or heart attack and leaves the heart so weak that it can’t pump enough blood around the body.