Catheter-based renal denervation to treat patients with resistant hypertension and chronic kidney disease (CKD) has generated considerable interest. Data from the majority of, but not all, observational studies and randomized controlled trials suggest that the procedure does not impair renal function and can effectively reduce office and ambulatory blood pressure in patients with primary hypertension. The putative beneficial effects of renal denervation seem to result from the interruption of renal efferent and afferent nerves. In patients with resistant hypertension and CKD, interruption of afferent reflexes might lead to a reduction in global sympathetic tone. The subsequent sustained reduction in blood pressure is expected to slow the progression of renal disease. However, renal denervation might also improve glucose metabolism, increase insulin sensitivity and reduce renal inflammation, with renoprotective effects in patients with CKD. Additional large randomized controlled trials of renal denervation in hypertensive and normotensive patients with CKD are required to precisely define the clinical value of the procedure in this population.