BACKGROUND:Renal denervation (RDN) can reduce blood pressure (BP) in patients with resistant hypertension, but less so in patients with isolated systolic hypertension. A possible explanation is that patients with stiffer arteries may have lesser neural contribution to their hypertension. METHOD:We hypothesized that arterial stiffness predicts the response to RDN. From ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM), ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI) was calculated as 1 - the regression slope of DBP versus SBP. RESULTS:In 111 patients with resistant hypertension, RDN reduced office and 24-h SBP after 3, 6, and 12 months (by -11 ± 22, -11 ± 25, -14 ± 21 mmHg for office, and -4 ± 11, -5 ± 12, -5 ± 15 mmHg for 24-h SBP, respectively, P < 0.01). Patients with baseline AASI above the median (>0.51) showed no change in 24-h SBP at 6 months after RDN (-0.4 ± 12.3 mmHg, P > 0.05), whereas an AASI below 0.51was associated with a marked reduction (-9.3 ± 11.0 mmHg, P < 0.01). Across AASI quartiles, patients in the highest quartile (AASI ≥ 0.60) had lower muscle sympathetic nerve activity than the other three quartiles (39 ± 13 versus 49 ± 13 bursts/min, P = 0.035). The responder rate, defined as a 24-h SBP reduction of at least 5% was 58% in the lowest AASI quartile (<0.45) and 16% in the highest quartile (≥0.60). After adjustment for age, sex, BMI, office and 24-h SBP, an AASI less than 0.51predicted those who respond to RDN (odds ratio 3.46, P = 0.04). CONCLUSION:We conclude that in patients with resistant hypertension, a lower AASI is an independent predictor of the BP response to RDN, possibly explained by a more pronounced neurogenic rather than biomechanical contribution to their BP elevation.