Hypertensive Emergencies

A hypertensive emergency is high blood pressure with potentially life-threatening symptoms and signs indicative of acute impairment of one or more organ systems. The most common cause is patients with diagnosed, chronic hypertension who have discontinued anti-hypertensive medications. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, or vomiting. Chest pain may occur due to increased workload on the heart resulting in inadequate delivery of oxygen to meet the heart muscle's metabolic needs. The kidneys may be affected, resulting in blood or protein in the urine, and acute kidney failure. People can have decreased urine production, fluid retention, and confusion. The most common presentations of hypertensive emergencies are cerebral infarction (24.5%), pulmonary edema, hypertensive encephalopathy and congestive heart failure. Less common presentations include intracranial bleeding, aortic dissection, and pre-eclampsia or eclampsia.  

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