Hypertensive Crisis

  • J. N. Bates
  • J. H. Tinker


Marked hypertension in a critically ill patient can sometimes become the gravest immediate threat to survival. While the underlying problem must be treated, there are times when immediate control of the blood pressure must have the highest priority. The urgency of the problem is not necessarily reflected in the measured value of the blood pressure, but rather in the threat to the integrity of the cardiovascular system. The patient with accelerated hypertension might be able to withstand blood pressures of 250/130 mmHg for many hours without injury. On the other hand, a patient with a cerebral aneurysm, or acute aortic dissection, or some patients in the immediate postoperative period, might be seriously harmed or succumb to blood pressures of 190/110 mmHg that persist for only a few minutes. An abrupt rise in blood pressure, even that which might occur during endotracheal intubation, could bring disaster at even lower pressures in some critically ill patients.


Nitric Oxide Sodium Nitroprusside Guanylate Cyclase Hypertensive Crisis Hypertensive Emergency 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. N. Bates
  • J. H. Tinker

There are no affiliations available

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