Hypertensive Crisis

  • Kathleen J. Brennan


Hypertension is a common disease, affecting about 60 million people in the United States alone. Hypertensive crisis, defined as a severe elevation in systemic blood pressure, has an annual incidence of 1% in the general population but accounts for 27% of emergency room admissions. Hypertensive crisis can be divided into hypertensive emergency and hypertensive urgency. Hypertensive emergency is defined as a severe elevation in blood pressure accompanied by signs of end-organ damage (brain, heart, or kidneys). Hypertensive emergencies require rapid control of blood pressure, usually with intravenous medications and intensive care monitoring. Hypertensive urgencies are elevations in blood pressure, without acute end-organ damage, that can usually be treated with oral medications. The main distinction between hypertensive emergency and urgency is the presence of end-organ damage, not the magnitude of elevation in blood pressure. The term malignant hypertension is used to describe a hypertensive emergency with associated encephalopathy.


Diastolic Blood Pressure Aortic Dissection Sodium Nitroprusside Systemic Blood Pressure Acute Aortic Dissection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Suggested Reading

  1. Calhoun DA, Oparil S. Treatment of hypertensive crisis. N Engl J Med 1990; 323: 1177–1183.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. The Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Clinical Guidelines and Evidence Reports November 1997. Arch Intern Med 157 (21): 2413–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kitiyakra C, Guzman NJ. Malignant hypertension and hypertensive emergencies. J Am Soc Nephrol 1998; 9 (1): 133–420.Google Scholar
  4. Varon J, Marl, PE. The diagnosis and management of hypertensive crisis. Chest 2000; 118: 214–22PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen J. Brennan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations