Contact: Kate Darden, BHS Vice President, Marketing

Julie B. Wall, Markstein


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – May 28, 2015 - Cardiology P.C. at Princeton Baptist Medical Center is helping identify a better therapy for patients with high blood pressure and recently treated the first patient in the U.S. in a groundbreaking study using a novel device designed to permanently lower high blood pressure in the absence of medications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three adults has high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke – leading causes of death in the U.S. Only about half (52 percent) of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Additionally, high blood pressure costs the nation $46 billion each year, which includes the cost of health care services, medications to treat high blood pressure and missed days of work.

Cardiology P.C. treated the first-ever patient in the U.S. in the Boston Scientific Corporation REDUCE-HTN: REINFORCE trial, which takes a revolutionary approach to treating patients with high blood pressure by using a balloon catheter technology known as the Vessix™ Renal Denervation System. Boston Scientific received an investigational device exemption from the study from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in December. Princeton is one of only 14 hospitals in the U.S. selected to test with the Vessix™ Renal Denervation System.

“If the Vessix™ balloon catheter is confirmed to lower blood pressure in the REDUCE trial, this will be the first ever device approved in the U.S. for hypertension, which is a sea change for a disease treated over the last 50 plus years with only medication,” said Farrell Mendelsohn, M.D. at Cardiology P.C., who played a key role in developing the Vessix™ Renal Denervation System and also serves as the site principal investigator. “It is a huge milestone to see the implementation of this study, and our hope is for the Vessix™ Renal Denervation System to give patients suffering from hypertension a permanent solution.”

The Vessix™ Renal Denervation System is designed to drastically lower blood pressure in ways prescription drugs cannot by disabling nerves leading to the kidney, thereby interfering with excessive fluid retention and reducing hormones that can cause high blood pressure.

Only 100 patients nationwide will be selected to participate in the study. Qualified candidates must be able to safely undergo a four-week washout period prior to enrollment in which they will abstain from all high blood pressure medications. To remain qualified, candidates’ blood pressure must reach between 150 and 180 after the washout period. The first results from the new study could be available as soon as the first half of 2016.

“The goal at Cardiology P.C. is to provide top-quality patient care and reduce cardiovascular disease,” said Michael Wilensky, M.D., at Cardiology P.C., who referred the first patient for the study. “We are honored to be the first to enroll a patient, as it is proof of our commitment to that goal. We are committed to staying on the cutting edge of advancements in cardiac therapies to produce the best outcomes for our patients.”

Qualified candidates for the study can reach Cardiology P.C. at 205-780-4330205-780-4330 or visit

About Baptist Health System

Baptist Health System, a not-for-profit 501(c) corporation and one of the largest health systems in Alabama, owns four hospital campuses, including Princeton (in Birmingham), Shelby (in Alabaster), Walker (in Jasper) and Citizens (in Talladega) as well as the largest network of employed primary- and specialty-care physicians providing coordinated care across central Alabama. The system includes graduate medical education programs and active clinical research in multiple specialties. Baptist Health System is committed to providing compassionate, high-quality, innovative health care and empowering its communities to achieve their best health. Baptist Health System is a ministry of the churches of the Birmingham Baptist Association, whose representatives elect the Board of Trustees. It was founded in 1922 by a group of local Baptist congregations. For more information please visit

About Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific transforms lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. As a global medical technology leader for more than 35 years, we advance science for life by providing a broad range of high performance solutions that address unmet patient needs and reduce the cost of healthcare. For more information, visit and connect on Twitter and Facebook.


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