Achieve Mastery of Medical Concepts

Study for medical school and boards with Lecturio

Uncontrolled Hypertension

Hypertension is defined as a blood pressure (BP) of 130/80 mm Hg. Significantly elevated BP (≥ 180 mm Hg systolic and/or ≥ 120 mm Hg diastolic) carries a substantial risk of morbidity and mortality. Despite the prolonged presence of hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, there may be no signs or symptoms of end-organ damage (e.g., brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification, eyes, heart, kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy) until function becomes decompensated or severely impaired. Individuals may present with clinical symptoms such as chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways due to MI MI MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction or focal neurologic changes associated with a cerebral infarction or intracranial hemorrhage Intracranial hemorrhage Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a type of cerebrovascular accident (stroke) resulting from intracranial hemorrhage into the subarachnoid space between the arachnoid and the pia mater layers of the meninges surrounding the brain. Most sahs originate from a saccular aneurysm in the circle of willis but may also occur as a result of trauma, uncontrolled hypertension, vasculitis, anticoagulant use, or stimulant use. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. Diagnosis is made using serial blood pressure measurements and testing for end-organ damage. Management includes lowering the blood pressure and treating specific organ damage.

Last updated: May 2, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definitions and classification

  • Severe hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension ( hypertensive crisis Hypertensive Crisis Oxazolidinones): 
    • A confirmed blood pressure ≥ 180 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg systolic and/or ≥ 120 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg diastolic
    • May occur in previously undiagnosed or known hypertensive individuals
    • May be isolated or sustained
    • A clinical spectrum:
      • Hypertensive urgency: asymptomatic, or relative asymptomatic, severe hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension without end-organ damage
      • Hypertensive emergency: severe hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension associated with signs of end-organ damage
  • Resistant hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension: Blood pressure that remains uncontrolled despite concurrent use of 3 antihypertensive agents of different classes:
    • Of these agents, 1 must be a diuretic (or a diuretic was not tolerated).
    • All must be dosed at the maximum allowable (or tolerable) dose.
    • Blood pressure that is controlled on maximal doses of ≥ 4 medications belong to this class by default.
  • Refractory hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension:
    • Blood pressure that cannot be controlled even with maximally tolerated doses of ≥ 5 drugs
    • Must include chlorthalidone Chlorthalidone A benzenesulfonamide-phthalimidine that tautomerizes to a benzophenones form. It is considered a thiazide-like diuretic. Thiazide Diuretics
    • Must include spironolactone Spironolactone A potassium sparing diuretic that acts by antagonism of aldosterone in the distal renal tubules. It is used mainly in the treatment of refractory edema in patients with congestive heart failure, nephrotic syndrome, or hepatic cirrhosis. Its effects on the endocrine system are utilized in the treatments of hirsutism and acne but they can lead to adverse effects. Potassium-sparing Diuretics
  • Secondary hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension: resistant hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension with an identifiable and potentially treatable etiology, such as:
    • Renal artery Renal artery A branch of the abdominal aorta which supplies the kidneys, adrenal glands and ureters. Glomerular Filtration stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) ( RAS RAS Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is the narrowing of one or both renal arteries, usually caused by atherosclerotic disease or by fibromuscular dysplasia. If the stenosis is severe enough, the stenosis causes decreased renal blood flow, which activates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and leads to renovascular hypertension (RVH). Renal Artery Stenosis)
    • Primary hyperaldosteronism Primary hyperaldosteronism Autonomous (renin-independent) secretion of aldosterone. Hyperaldosteronism
    • CKD CKD Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease
    • Obstructive sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep apnea ( OSA OSA Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by recurrent obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, causing hypoxia and fragmented sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is due to a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway and is associated with snoring, restlessness, sleep interruption, and daytime somnolence. Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
    • Pheochromocytoma Pheochromocytoma Pheochromocytoma is a catecholamine-secreting tumor derived from chromaffin cells. The majority of tumors originate in the adrenal medulla, but they may also arise from sympathetic ganglia (also referred to as paraganglioma). Symptoms are associated with excessive catecholamine production and commonly include hypertension, tachycardia, headache, and sweating. Pheochromocytoma
    • Cushing syndrome Cushing syndrome A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (hydrocortisone) or other glucocorticoids from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body obesity; osteoporosis; hypertension; diabetes mellitus; hirsutism; amenorrhea; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of adrenocorticotropin and those that are acth-independent. Paraneoplastic Syndromes
    • Coarctation of the aorta Coarctation of the aorta Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the aorta between the aortic arch and the iliac bifurcation commonly around the point of insertion of the ductus arteriosus. Coarctation of the aorta is typically congenital and the clinical presentation depends on the age of the patient. Coarctation of the Aorta

Etiology

  • Head trauma Head trauma Head trauma occurs when external forces are directed to the skull and brain structures, resulting in damage to the skull, brain, and intracranial structures. Head injuries can be classified as open (penetrating) or closed (blunt), and primary (from the initial trauma) or secondary (indirect brain injury), and range from mild to severe and life-threatening. Head Trauma
  • Blood pressure medication noncompliance Noncompliance Clinician–Patient Relationship
  • Suboptimal therapy
  • Rebound hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hyperthyroidism Hyperthyroidism Hypersecretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. Elevated levels of thyroid hormones increase basal metabolic rate. Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism
  • Extracellular volume expansion: 
  • Use of stimulants Stimulants Stimulants are used by the general public to increase alertness and energy, decrease fatigue, and promote mental focus. Stimulants have medical uses for individuals with ADHD and sleep disorders, and are also used in combination with analgesics in pain management. Stimulants:
    • Cocaine Cocaine An alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of plants including coca. It is a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor and is clinically used for that purpose, particularly in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. It also has powerful central nervous system effects similar to the amphetamines and is a drug of abuse. Cocaine, like amphetamines, acts by multiple mechanisms on brain catecholaminergic neurons; the mechanism of its reinforcing effects is thought to involve inhibition of dopamine uptake. Local Anesthetics
    • Methamphetamine Methamphetamine A central nervous system stimulant and sympathomimetic with actions and uses similar to dextroamphetamine. The smokable form is a drug of abuse and is referred to as crank, crystal, crystal meth, ice, and speed. Stimulants
    • Caffeine Caffeine A methylxanthine naturally occurring in some beverages and also used as a pharmacological agent. Caffeine’s most notable pharmacological effect is as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness and producing agitation. Several cellular actions of caffeine have been observed, but it is not entirely clear how each contributes to its pharmacological profile. Among the most important are inhibition of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, antagonism of adenosine receptors, and modulation of intracellular calcium handling. Stimulants 
    • Nicotine Nicotine Nicotine is highly toxic alkaloid. It is the prototypical agonist at nicotinic cholinergic receptors where it dramatically stimulates neurons and ultimately blocks synaptic transmission. Nicotine is also important medically because of its presence in tobacco smoke. Stimulants
  • Medications that cause increased blood pressure:
    • NSAIDs NSAIDS Primary vs Secondary Headaches
    • Sympathomimetics Sympathomimetics Sympathomimetic drugs, also known as adrenergic agonists, mimic the action of the stimulators (î±, β, or dopamine receptors) of the sympathetic autonomic nervous system. Sympathomimetic drugs are classified based on the type of receptors the drugs act on (some agents act on several receptors but 1 is predominate). Sympathomimetic Drugs:
      • Weight-loss drugs
      • Decongestants
      • Amphetamines Amphetamines Analogs or derivatives of amphetamine. Many are sympathomimetics and central nervous system stimulators causing excitation, vasopressin, bronchodilation, and to varying degrees, anorexia, analepsis, nasal decongestion, and some smooth muscle relaxation. Stimulants
    • Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids Glucocorticoids are a class within the corticosteroid family. Glucocorticoids are chemically and functionally similar to endogenous cortisol. There are a wide array of indications, which primarily benefit from the antiinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of this class of drugs. Glucocorticoids
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Antidepressants
    • Calcineurin inhibitors Calcineurin Inhibitors Compounds that inhibit or block the phosphatase activity of calcineurin. Immunosuppressants
  • Causes of secondary hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension

Epidemiology

  • Difficult to assess because of inconsistent coding practices among practitioners/institutions
  • Depends on the underlying cause

Pathophysiology

  • Poorly understood
  • Depends on the underlying cause

Clinical Presentation

Regardless of the manifestation of severe hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, by definition, the individual will have a blood pressure ≥ 180 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg systolic and/or ≥ 120 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg diastolic.

Hypertensive urgency

  • Blood pressure ≥ 180 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg systolic and/or ≥ 120 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg diastolic
  • Asymptomatic or vague/minimal symptoms:
    • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
    • Fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia
    • Flushing
    • Blurred vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam

Hypertensive emergency

  • Blood pressure ≥ 180 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg systolic and/or ≥ 120 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg diastolic with manifestations of target organ damage
  • Potential symptoms:
    • Chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Shortness of breath Shortness of breath Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea
    • Visual disturbance
    • Focal neurologic symptoms
    • Altered mental status Altered Mental Status Sepsis in Children
    • Hematuria Hematuria Presence of blood in the urine. Renal Cell Carcinoma
    • Anuria Anuria Absence of urine formation. It is usually associated with complete bilateral ureteral (ureter) obstruction, complete lower urinary tract obstruction, or unilateral ureteral obstruction when a solitary kidney is present. Acute Kidney Injury
  • Evidence of myocardial ischemia Myocardial ischemia A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart. The decreased blood flow may be due to narrowing of the coronary arteries (coronary artery disease), to obstruction by a thrombus (coronary thrombosis), or less commonly, to diffuse narrowing of arterioles and other small vessels within the heart. Coronary Heart Disease or MI MI MI is ischemia and death of an area of myocardial tissue due to insufficient blood flow and oxygenation, usually from thrombus formation on a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque in the epicardial arteries. Clinical presentation is most commonly with chest pain, but women and patients with diabetes may have atypical symptoms. Myocardial Infarction:
    • Diagnostic ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) changes
    • Elevated cardiac Cardiac Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes
    • Acute and/or decompensated heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)
  • Evidence of cerebrovascular accident Cerebrovascular accident An ischemic stroke (also known as cerebrovascular accident) is an acute neurologic injury that occurs as a result of brain ischemia; this condition may be due to cerebral blood vessel occlusion by thrombosis or embolism, or rarely due to systemic hypoperfusion. Ischemic Stroke:
  • Evidence of acute/acute-on-chronic renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome:
    • Acute uremia Uremia A clinical syndrome associated with the retention of renal waste products or uremic toxins in the blood. It is usually the result of renal insufficiency. Most uremic toxins are end products of protein or nitrogen catabolism, such as urea or creatinine. Severe uremia can lead to multiple organ dysfunctions with a constellation of symptoms. Acute Kidney Injury
    • Acidosis Acidosis A pathologic condition of acid accumulation or depletion of base in the body. The two main types are respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis, due to metabolic acid build up. Respiratory Acidosis/ alkalosis Alkalosis A pathological condition that removes acid or adds base to the body fluids. Respiratory Alkalosis
    • Abnormal electrolytes Electrolytes Electrolytes are mineral salts that dissolve in water and dissociate into charged particles called ions, which can be either be positively (cations) or negatively (anions) charged. Electrolytes are distributed in the extracellular and intracellular compartments in different concentrations. Electrolytes are essential for various basic life-sustaining functions. Electrolytes

Evaluation and Diagnosis

During the initial assessment of an individual with severe hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, it is imperative to exclude chronic target-organ damage. Severe elevations in blood pressure should be quickly confirmed with repeat measurement.

History

Particular focus Focus Area of enhancement measuring < 5 mm in diameter Imaging of the Breast on risk factors for end-organ vascular events:

  • Acute head injury
  • Use of stimulant drugs ( cocaine Cocaine An alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of plants including coca. It is a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor and is clinically used for that purpose, particularly in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. It also has powerful central nervous system effects similar to the amphetamines and is a drug of abuse. Cocaine, like amphetamines, acts by multiple mechanisms on brain catecholaminergic neurons; the mechanism of its reinforcing effects is thought to involve inhibition of dopamine uptake. Local Anesthetics, methamphetamine Methamphetamine A central nervous system stimulant and sympathomimetic with actions and uses similar to dextroamphetamine. The smokable form is a drug of abuse and is referred to as crank, crystal, crystal meth, ice, and speed. Stimulants)
  • Known myocardial ischemia Myocardial ischemia A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart. The decreased blood flow may be due to narrowing of the coronary arteries (coronary artery disease), to obstruction by a thrombus (coronary thrombosis), or less commonly, to diffuse narrowing of arterioles and other small vessels within the heart. Coronary Heart Disease
  • Known cerebrovascular ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage
  • Known arterial deformity Deformity Examination of the Upper Limbs:
    • Abdominal aortic aneurysm Aneurysm An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area of a blood vessel that causes an abnormal widening of its diameter > 1.5 times the size of the native vessel. Aneurysms occur more often in arteries than in veins and are at risk of dissection and rupture, which can be life-threatening. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms ( AAA AAA An aortic aneurysm is the abnormal dilation of a segment of the aorta. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is the most common aortic aneurysm, occurring frequently in the infrarenal area. Most aneurysms are asymptomatic, but can cause compression of surrounding structures or rupture, which is a life-threatening emergency. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms)
    • Cerebral aneurysm Aneurysm An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area of a blood vessel that causes an abnormal widening of its diameter > 1.5 times the size of the native vessel. Aneurysms occur more often in arteries than in veins and are at risk of dissection and rupture, which can be life-threatening. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms
    • Arteriovenous malformation Arteriovenous malformation Abnormal formation of blood vessels that shunt arterial blood directly into veins without passing through the capillaries. They usually are crooked, dilated, and with thick vessel walls. A common type is the congenital arteriovenous fistula. The lack of blood flow and oxygen in the capillaries can lead to tissue damage in the affected areas. Erysipelas (AVM)
    • Recent vascular surgery Vascular surgery Vascular surgery is the specialized field of medicine that focuses on the surgical management of the pathologies of the peripheral circulation. The main goal of most vascular procedures is to restore circulatory function to the affected vessels by relieving occlusions or by redirecting blood flow (e.g., bypass). Vascular Surgery
    • RAS RAS Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is the narrowing of one or both renal arteries, usually caused by atherosclerotic disease or by fibromuscular dysplasia. If the stenosis is severe enough, the stenosis causes decreased renal blood flow, which activates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and leads to renovascular hypertension (RVH). Renal Artery Stenosis
  • Multiple vascular risk factors:
    • Age
    • Family history Family History Adult Health Maintenance
    • Smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases
    • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus
    • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
    • Dyslipidemia
    • Obesity Obesity Obesity is a condition associated with excess body weight, specifically with the deposition of excessive adipose tissue. Obesity is considered a global epidemic. Major influences come from the western diet and sedentary lifestyles, but the exact mechanisms likely include a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. Obesity
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • OSA OSA Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by recurrent obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, causing hypoxia and fragmented sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is due to a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway and is associated with snoring, restlessness, sleep interruption, and daytime somnolence. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of end-organ dysfunction:

  • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
  • Fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia
  • Blurred vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam
  • Chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
  • Shortness of breath Shortness of breath Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea
  • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics/ vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia ( increased intracranial pressure Increased Intracranial Pressure Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP))
  • Visual disturbance
  • Focal neurologic symptoms
  • Altered mental status Altered Mental Status Sepsis in Children
  • Acute severe back pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways ( aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection)
  • Hematuria Hematuria Presence of blood in the urine. Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • Anuria Anuria Absence of urine formation. It is usually associated with complete bilateral ureteral (ureter) obstruction, complete lower urinary tract obstruction, or unilateral ureteral obstruction when a solitary kidney is present. Acute Kidney Injury

Physical examination

  • Blood pressure evaluation:
    • Standard blood pressure measurement with a manual sphygmomanometer at regular Regular Insulin intervals is appropriate for low-risk individuals.
    • Higher-risk individuals may need continuous monitoring with an automatic sphygmomanometer with a digital display.
    • Individuals requiring urgent and controlled blood pressure lowering with IV antihypertensives Antihypertensives The 1st-line medication classes for hypertension include thiazide-like diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), and calcium channel blockers (CCBS). Contraindications, adverse effects, and drug-to-drug interactions are agent specific. Hypertension Drugs may benefit from the placement of an intraarterial catheter for continuous blood pressure monitoring.
  • Mental status:
    • Agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus
    • Delirium Delirium Delirium is a medical condition characterized by acute disturbances in attention and awareness. Symptoms may fluctuate during the course of a day and involve memory deficits and disorientation. Delirium
    • Stupor
    • Seizure
    • Coma Coma Coma is defined as a deep state of unarousable unresponsiveness, characterized by a score of 3 points on the GCS. A comatose state can be caused by a multitude of conditions, making the precise epidemiology and prognosis of coma difficult to determine. Coma
  • Focal neurologic findings:
    • Visual loss
    • Limb paresis Paresis A general term referring to a mild to moderate degree of muscular weakness, occasionally used as a synonym for paralysis (severe or complete loss of motor function). In the older literature, paresis often referred specifically to paretic neurosyphilis. ‘general paresis’ and ‘general paralysis’ may still carry that connotation. Bilateral lower extremity paresis is referred to as paraparesis. Spinal Disk Herniation/paralysis
    • Speech deficit
  • Ophthalmic exam Ophthalmic exam A comprehensive examination of the eyes and their functions is important for all individuals with ocular symptoms, and to screen for visual acuity, glaucoma, and retinal pathology. A routine examination includes testing for visual acuity, peripheral vision, and color vision, plus an examination of the external eye, conjunctiva, sclera, iris, pupil, and extraocular movements. Ophthalmic Exam:
    • Hemorrhages
    • Exudates
    • Papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
  • Signs of cardiac Cardiac Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) decompensation:
    • Jugular venous distention ( JVD JVD Cardiovascular Examination)
    • Palpitations Palpitations Ebstein’s Anomaly/abnormal rhythm
    • New murmur
    • New gallop
    • Pulmonary rales Rales Respiratory Syncytial Virus
    • Peripheral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Abdominal bruit Abdominal Bruit Abdominal Examination ( AAA AAA An aortic aneurysm is the abnormal dilation of a segment of the aorta. Abdominal aortic aneurysm is the most common aortic aneurysm, occurring frequently in the infrarenal area. Most aneurysms are asymptomatic, but can cause compression of surrounding structures or rupture, which is a life-threatening emergency. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms or RAS RAS Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is the narrowing of one or both renal arteries, usually caused by atherosclerotic disease or by fibromuscular dysplasia. If the stenosis is severe enough, the stenosis causes decreased renal blood flow, which activates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and leads to renovascular hypertension (RVH). Renal Artery Stenosis)
    • Carotid or femoral bruit (suggests atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis Atherosclerosis is a common form of arterial disease in which lipid deposition forms a plaque in the blood vessel walls. Atherosclerosis is an incurable disease, for which there are clearly defined risk factors that often can be reduced through a change in lifestyle and behavior of the patient. Atherosclerosis)
  • Preeclampsia Preeclampsia A complication of pregnancy, characterized by a complex of symptoms including maternal hypertension and proteinuria with or without pathological edema. Symptoms may range between mild and severe. Pre-eclampsia usually occurs after the 20th week of gestation, but may develop before this time in the presence of trophoblastic disease. Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders or eclampsia Eclampsia Onset of hyperreflexia; seizures; or coma in a previously diagnosed pre-eclamptic patient (pre-eclampsia). Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders in pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care

Diagnostic tests Diagnostic tests Diagnostic tests are important aspects in making a diagnosis. Some of the most important epidemiological values of diagnostic tests include sensitivity and specificity, false positives and false negatives, positive and negative predictive values, likelihood ratios, and pre-test and post-test probabilities. Epidemiological Values of Diagnostic Tests

  • ECG ECG An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Urine Urine Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the urethra. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat studies:
    • Urinalysis Urinalysis Examination of urine by chemical, physical, or microscopic means. Routine urinalysis usually includes performing chemical screening tests, determining specific gravity, observing any unusual color or odor, screening for bacteriuria, and examining the sediment microscopically. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Children
    • 24-hour urine Urine Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the urethra. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat collection:
      • Protein
      • Catecholamines Catecholamines A general class of ortho-dihydroxyphenylalkylamines derived from tyrosine. Adrenal Hormones/metanephrines for pheochromocytoma Pheochromocytoma Pheochromocytoma is a catecholamine-secreting tumor derived from chromaffin cells. The majority of tumors originate in the adrenal medulla, but they may also arise from sympathetic ganglia (also referred to as paraganglioma). Symptoms are associated with excessive catecholamine production and commonly include hypertension, tachycardia, headache, and sweating. Pheochromocytoma
      • Sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia excretion
  • Blood chemistry:
    • Electrolytes Electrolytes Electrolytes are mineral salts that dissolve in water and dissociate into charged particles called ions, which can be either be positively (cations) or negatively (anions) charged. Electrolytes are distributed in the extracellular and intracellular compartments in different concentrations. Electrolytes are essential for various basic life-sustaining functions. Electrolytes
    • Serum creatinine
    • Cardiac Cardiac Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) biomarkers
    • Serum aldosterone Aldosterone A hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex that regulates electrolyte and water balance by increasing the renal retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium. Hyperkalemia

Imaging for ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage/vascular compromise

  • Chest X-ray X-ray Penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted when the inner orbital electrons of an atom are excited and release radiant energy. X-ray wavelengths range from 1 pm to 10 nm. Hard x-rays are the higher energy, shorter wavelength x-rays. Soft x-rays or grenz rays are less energetic and longer in wavelength. The short wavelength end of the x-ray spectrum overlaps the gamma rays wavelength range. The distinction between gamma rays and x-rays is based on their radiation source. Pulmonary Function Tests:
    • Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid within the lung parenchyma and alveoli as a consequence of a disease process. Based on etiology, pulmonary edema is classified as cardiogenic or noncardiogenic. Patients may present with progressive dyspnea, orthopnea, cough, or respiratory failure. Pulmonary Edema
    • Cardiac Cardiac Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) enlargement
    • Widened mediastinum Mediastinum The mediastinum is the thoracic area between the 2 pleural cavities. The mediastinum contains vital structures of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems including the heart and esophagus, and major thoracic vessels. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy
  • CT/MRI brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification:
    • Cerebral ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage
    • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • CT chest/abdomen:
    • Thoracic aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection
    • Abdominal aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection

Management

Rate of reduction for elevated blood pressure

  • Target blood pressure should be achieved over a period of hours to days.
  • Slower reductions may be needed in older individuals with an increased risk of cerebral or myocardial ischemia Myocardial ischemia A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart. The decreased blood flow may be due to narrowing of the coronary arteries (coronary artery disease), to obstruction by a thrombus (coronary thrombosis), or less commonly, to diffuse narrowing of arterioles and other small vessels within the heart. Coronary Heart Disease.

Target blood pressure

  • Blood pressure should be slowly reduced to < 160/< 100 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg.
  • Mean Mean Mean is the sum of all measurements in a data set divided by the number of measurements in that data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion arterial pressure (MAP) should not be lowered >25%–30% in the 1st few hours.
  • Long-term reductions back to previous therapeutic target (i.e., ≤ 130/80 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg)

No evidence of end-organ damage (hypertensive urgency)

Outpatient management:

  •  Outcomes may be poor:
    • High rate of loss to follow-up soon after evaluation
    • High rate of return to the ED for recurrent uncontrolled hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension within 3 months
  • May be appropriate if:
    • No evidence of end-organ damage
    • Blood pressure was previously controlled on an antihypertensive regimen.
    • Individual or their caregiver is reliable for monitoring blood pressure and ensuring that medications are taken.

ED management:

  • Move individual to a quiet room: can lead to a fall in systolic pressure of ≥ 10–20 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg 
  • Determine time course of blood pressure lowering:
    • Balance between 2 concerns:
      • Blood pressure ↓ too quickly, potential inability for autoregulation Autoregulation Systemic and Special Circulations to maintain end-organ tissue perfusion
      • Blood pressure ↓ too slowly, potential risk of imminent cardiovascular events 
  • If blood pressure needs to be lowered quickly (hours):
    • Includes individuals with high risk:
      • Imminent coronary or cerebral ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage
      • Known renal artery Renal artery A branch of the abdominal aorta which supplies the kidneys, adrenal glands and ureters. Glomerular Filtration stenosis Stenosis Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
      • Known existing cerebral or aortic aneurysm Aneurysm An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area of a blood vessel that causes an abnormal widening of its diameter > 1.5 times the size of the native vessel. Aneurysms occur more often in arteries than in veins and are at risk of dissection and rupture, which can be life-threatening. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms
    • Oral clonidine Clonidine An imidazoline sympatholytic agent that stimulates alpha-2 adrenergic receptors and central imidazoline receptors. It is commonly used in the management of hypertension. Sympathomimetic Drugs (rapid-acting)
    • Oral captopril Captopril A potent and specific inhibitor of peptidyl-dipeptidase a. It blocks the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a vasoconstrictor and important regulator of arterial blood pressure. Captopril acts to suppress the renin-angiotensin system and inhibits pressure responses to exogenous angiotensin. Hypertension Drugs (rapid-acting)
    • Oral or sublingual nitrates Nitrates Nitrates are a class of medications that cause systemic vasodilation (veins > arteries) by smooth muscle relaxation. Nitrates are primarily indicated for the treatment of angina, where preferential venodilation causes pooling of blood, decreased preload, and ultimately decreased myocardial O2 demand. Nitrates (rapid-acting)
    • Oral hydralazine Hydralazine A direct-acting vasodilator that is used as an antihypertensive agent. Heart Failure and Angina Medication (rapid-acting)
    • Consider admitting the individual for observation and blood pressure medication titration.
    • Consider discharge home with short-interval follow-up.
  • If blood pressure needs to be lowered slowly (days):
    • Previously diagnosed hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
      • Previously controlled → resume previous regimen
      • Previously suboptimally controlled → increase doses for previous regimen or add a new agent 
    • If new diagnosis:
      • Amlodipine Amlodipine A long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker. It is effective in the treatment of angina pectoris and hypertension. Hypertension Drugs 
      • Chlorthalidone Chlorthalidone A benzenesulfonamide-phthalimidine that tautomerizes to a benzophenones form. It is considered a thiazide-like diuretic. Thiazide Diuretics 
      • Beta-blockers Beta-blockers Drugs that bind to but do not activate beta-adrenergic receptors thereby blocking the actions of beta-adrenergic agonists. Adrenergic beta-antagonists are used for treatment of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, angina pectoris, glaucoma, migraine headaches, and anxiety. Class 2 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Beta Blockers) if the individual has a comorbid indication for beta-blockade (e.g., heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR))
      • ACE inhibitor if the individual has a comorbid indication for ACE inhibition (e.g., diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus)
      • Combination therapy may be considered.
      • Consider hospital admission for medication titration.
      • Consider discharge home with short-interval follow-up.
  • Prior to discharge:
    • Ensure:
      • Short-interval follow-up with primary care physician ( PCP PCP Pneumocystis jiroveci is a yeast-like fungus causing pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in immunocompromised patients. Pneumocystis pneumonia is spread through airborne transmission and classically affects patients with AIDS, functioning as an AIDS-defining illness. Patients may present with insidious onset of fever, chills, dry cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Pneumocystis jirovecii/Pneumocystis Pneumonia (PCP)) or appropriate specialist
      • Prescription given for any new medications
    • Counsel:
      • Importance of adherence to blood pressure medication regimen
      • Importance of dietary sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia restriction

Evidence of end-organ damage (hypertensive emergency)

  • Admit individual to ICU ICU Hospital units providing continuous surveillance and care to acutely ill patients. West Nile Virus:
    • For intensive monitoring
    • For rapid intervention in the event of decompensation
    • For rapidly titratable IV delivery of blood pressure medications
  • In general, rapid lowering of BP is not advised: 
    • Risk of ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage if vascular physiology has habituated to higher BP
    • Goal:
      • Lower MAP by 10%–20% in the 1st hour and an additional 5%–15% over the next 24 hours.
      • Often equates to a goal BP of <180/<120 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg for the 1st hour and <160/<110 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg for the next 23 hours
  • Exceptions:
    • For ischemic stroke Ischemic Stroke An ischemic stroke (also known as cerebrovascular accident) is an acute neurologic injury that occurs as a result of brain ischemia; this condition may be due to cerebral blood vessel occlusion by thrombosis or embolism, or rarely due to systemic hypoperfusion. Ischemic Stroke, DO NOT initiate BP-lowering measures unless:
      • Blood pressure > 185/110 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg if candidate for reperfusion (thrombolytic therapy)
      • Blood pressure > 220/120 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg if not candidate for reperfusion
    • Acute aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection: Lower systolic BP rapidly to 100–120 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg to decrease the shearing forces Shearing forces Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure and control the tear.
    • Intracerebral hemorrhage Intracerebral Hemorrhage Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) refers to a spontaneous or traumatic bleed into the brain parenchyma and is the 2nd-most common cause of cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), commonly known as stroke, after ischemic CVAs. Intracerebral Hemorrhage: DO initiate rapid systolic blood pressure lowering: 
      • Target blood pressure 140 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg if presenting blood pressure is 150–220 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg
      • Target blood pressure 140–160 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg if presenting blood pressure is >220 mm MM Multiple myeloma (MM) is a malignant condition of plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) primarily seen in the elderly. Monoclonal proliferation of plasma cells results in cytokine-driven osteoclastic activity and excessive secretion of IgG antibodies. Multiple Myeloma Hg
  • Appropriate specialist consultation:
    • Interventional cardiology
    • Neurology/ neurosurgery Neurosurgery Neurosurgery is a specialized field focused on the surgical management of pathologies of the brain, spine, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. General neurosurgery includes cases of trauma and emergencies. There are a number of specialized neurosurgical practices, including oncologic neurosurgery, spinal neurosurgery, and pediatric neurosurgery. Neurosurgery
    • Vascular surgery Vascular surgery Vascular surgery is the specialized field of medicine that focuses on the surgical management of the pathologies of the peripheral circulation. The main goal of most vascular procedures is to restore circulatory function to the affected vessels by relieving occlusions or by redirecting blood flow (e.g., bypass). Vascular Surgery
    • Interventional radiology Interventional radiology Subspecialty of radiology that combines organ system radiography, catheter techniques and sectional imaging. Penetrating Abdominal Injury
    • Nephrology
  • Therapeutic IV blood pressure agents:
    • Beta-blockers Beta-blockers Drugs that bind to but do not activate beta-adrenergic receptors thereby blocking the actions of beta-adrenergic agonists. Adrenergic beta-antagonists are used for treatment of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, angina pectoris, glaucoma, migraine headaches, and anxiety. Class 2 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Beta Blockers):
    • Calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes channel blockers:
      • Nicardipine Nicardipine A potent calcium channel blockader with marked vasodilator action. It has antihypertensive properties and is effective in the treatment of angina and coronary spasms without showing cardiodepressant effects. It has also been used in the treatment of asthma and enhances the action of specific antineoplastic agents. Class 4 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Calcium Channel Blockers)
      • Clevidipine
      • Felodipine Felodipine A dihydropyridine calcium antagonist with positive inotropic effects. It lowers blood pressure by reducing peripheral vascular resistance through a highly selective action on smooth muscle in arteriolar resistance vessels. Class 4 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Calcium Channel Blockers)
    • Nitrates Nitrates Nitrates are a class of medications that cause systemic vasodilation (veins > arteries) by smooth muscle relaxation. Nitrates are primarily indicated for the treatment of angina, where preferential venodilation causes pooling of blood, decreased preload, and ultimately decreased myocardial O2 demand. Nitrates:
      • Nitroprusside Nitroprusside A powerful vasodilator used in emergencies to lower blood pressure or to improve cardiac function. It is also an indicator for free sulfhydryl groups in proteins. Nitrates
      • Nitroglycerine
    • Others:
      • Phentolamine Phentolamine A nonselective alpha-adrenergic antagonist. It is used in the treatment of hypertension and hypertensive emergencies, pheochromocytoma, vasospasm of raynaud disease and frostbite, clonidine withdrawal syndrome, impotence, and peripheral vascular disease. Antiadrenergic Drugs
      • Hydralazine Hydralazine A direct-acting vasodilator that is used as an antihypertensive agent. Heart Failure and Angina Medication
  • Specific hypertensive conditions and treatment:
    • Intracerebral hemorrhage Intracerebral Hemorrhage Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) refers to a spontaneous or traumatic bleed into the brain parenchyma and is the 2nd-most common cause of cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), commonly known as stroke, after ischemic CVAs. Intracerebral Hemorrhage: IV labetalol Labetalol A salicylamide derivative that is a non-cardioselective blocker of beta-adrenergic receptors and alpha-1 adrenergic receptors. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage or nicardipine Nicardipine A potent calcium channel blockader with marked vasodilator action. It has antihypertensive properties and is effective in the treatment of angina and coronary spasms without showing cardiodepressant effects. It has also been used in the treatment of asthma and enhances the action of specific antineoplastic agents. Class 4 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Calcium Channel Blockers) (1st-line)
    • Acute heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) (volume overload):
      • Loop diuretics Loop diuretics Loop diuretics are a group of diuretic medications primarily used to treat fluid overload in edematous conditions such as heart failure and cirrhosis. Loop diuretics also treat hypertension, but not as a 1st-line agent. Loop Diuretics
      • Nitroprusside Nitroprusside A powerful vasodilator used in emergencies to lower blood pressure or to improve cardiac function. It is also an indicator for free sulfhydryl groups in proteins. Nitrates or nitroglycerin Nitroglycerin A volatile vasodilator which relieves angina pectoris by stimulating guanylate cyclase and lowering cytosolic calcium. It is also sometimes used for tocolysis and explosives. Nitrates to reduce the afterload Afterload Afterload is the resistance in the aorta that prevents blood from leaving the heart. Afterload represents the pressure the LV needs to overcome to eject blood into the aorta. Cardiac Mechanics
      • AVOID medications that reduce contractility (such as beta blockers)
    • Acute coronary syndrome:
      • Beta blockers
      • Nitroglycerin Nitroglycerin A volatile vasodilator which relieves angina pectoris by stimulating guanylate cyclase and lowering cytosolic calcium. It is also sometimes used for tocolysis and explosives. Nitrates
      • Clevidipine
      • Nicardipine Nicardipine A potent calcium channel blockader with marked vasodilator action. It has antihypertensive properties and is effective in the treatment of angina and coronary spasms without showing cardiodepressant effects. It has also been used in the treatment of asthma and enhances the action of specific antineoplastic agents. Class 4 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Calcium Channel Blockers)
    • Acute aortic dissection Aortic dissection Aortic dissection occurs due to shearing stress from pulsatile pressure causing a tear in the tunica intima of the aortic wall. This tear allows blood to flow into the media, creating a “false lumen.” Aortic dissection is most commonly caused by uncontrolled hypertension. Aortic Dissection
      • Beta blockers (reduces heart rate Heart rate The number of times the heart ventricles contract per unit of time, usually per minute. Cardiac Physiology)
      • Nitroprusside Nitroprusside A powerful vasodilator used in emergencies to lower blood pressure or to improve cardiac function. It is also an indicator for free sulfhydryl groups in proteins. Nitrates 
      • Clevidipine
    • Hypertensive emergency in pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care:
  • After 8–24 hours of stable blood pressure control:
    • Transition to oral agents
    • Wean IV agents
    • Transition out of ICU ICU Hospital units providing continuous surveillance and care to acutely ill patients. West Nile Virus
    • Discharge planning as above.

Clinical Relevance

  • Labile (paroxysmal) hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension: marked elevations in blood pressure that are recurrent, sudden, and transient. Labile hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension is linked to sympathetic hyperstimulation, though the link is poorly understood. Treatment is with adrenergic blocking agents (i.e., beta-blockers Beta-blockers Drugs that bind to but do not activate beta-adrenergic receptors thereby blocking the actions of beta-adrenergic agonists. Adrenergic beta-antagonists are used for treatment of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, angina pectoris, glaucoma, migraine headaches, and anxiety. Class 2 Antiarrhythmic Drugs (Beta Blockers), alpha-blockers Alpha-blockers Drugs that bind to but do not activate alpha-adrenergic receptors thereby blocking the actions of endogenous or exogenous adrenergic agonists. Adrenergic alpha-antagonists are used in the treatment of hypertension, vasospasm, peripheral vascular disease, shock, and pheochromocytoma. Antiadrenergic Drugs).
  • Secondary hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension: resistant hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension with an identifiable and potentially treatable etiology. Includes RAS RAS Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is the narrowing of one or both renal arteries, usually caused by atherosclerotic disease or by fibromuscular dysplasia. If the stenosis is severe enough, the stenosis causes decreased renal blood flow, which activates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and leads to renovascular hypertension (RVH). Renal Artery Stenosis, primary hyperaldosteronism Primary hyperaldosteronism Autonomous (renin-independent) secretion of aldosterone. Hyperaldosteronism, CKD CKD Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is kidney impairment that lasts for ≥ 3 months, implying that it is irreversible. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes; however, there are a multitude of other etiologies. In the early to moderate stages, CKD is usually asymptomatic and is primarily diagnosed by laboratory abnormalities. Chronic Kidney Disease, OSA OSA Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by recurrent obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, causing hypoxia and fragmented sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is due to a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway and is associated with snoring, restlessness, sleep interruption, and daytime somnolence. Obstructive Sleep Apnea, pheochromocytoma Pheochromocytoma Pheochromocytoma is a catecholamine-secreting tumor derived from chromaffin cells. The majority of tumors originate in the adrenal medulla, but they may also arise from sympathetic ganglia (also referred to as paraganglioma). Symptoms are associated with excessive catecholamine production and commonly include hypertension, tachycardia, headache, and sweating. Pheochromocytoma, Cushing syndrome Cushing syndrome A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (hydrocortisone) or other glucocorticoids from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body obesity; osteoporosis; hypertension; diabetes mellitus; hirsutism; amenorrhea; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of adrenocorticotropin and those that are acth-independent. Paraneoplastic Syndromes, coarctation of the aorta Coarctation of the aorta Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the aorta between the aortic arch and the iliac bifurcation commonly around the point of insertion of the ductus arteriosus. Coarctation of the aorta is typically congenital and the clinical presentation depends on the age of the patient. Coarctation of the Aorta. Treatment depends on the specific cause. 
  • Head trauma Head trauma Head trauma occurs when external forces are directed to the skull and brain structures, resulting in damage to the skull, brain, and intracranial structures. Head injuries can be classified as open (penetrating) or closed (blunt), and primary (from the initial trauma) or secondary (indirect brain injury), and range from mild to severe and life-threatening. Head Trauma: complex cascade of neurohormonal factors resulting from a traumatic brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification injury can cause severe hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension. This cascade likely represents compensatory mechanisms to maintain cerebral perfusion Cerebral Perfusion Syncope in the setting of increased intracranial pressure Increased Intracranial Pressure Normal intracranial pressure (ICP) is defined as < 15 mm Hg, whereas pathologically increased ICP is any pressure ≥ 20 mm Hg. Increased ICP may result from several etiologies, including trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, mass lesions, cerebral edema, increased CSF production, and decreased CSF absorption. Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP). The balance between maintenance of cerebral perfusion Cerebral Perfusion Syncope and prevention of cerebrovascular events makes treatment of elevated blood pressure with head trauma Head trauma Head trauma occurs when external forces are directed to the skull and brain structures, resulting in damage to the skull, brain, and intracranial structures. Head injuries can be classified as open (penetrating) or closed (blunt), and primary (from the initial trauma) or secondary (indirect brain injury), and range from mild to severe and life-threatening. Head Trauma controversial.  
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy Encephalopathy Hyper-IgM Syndrome: dramatic change in the level of consciousness, cognition, or personality in the setting of severe hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension and attributable to cerebral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema. Management includes aggressive but careful lowering of the blood pressure and immediate neurologic/neurosurgical consultation to avoid or minimize cerebrovascular events and/or permanent brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification damage.  
  • Hypertensive retinopathy Hypertensive retinopathy Hypertension has many adverse effects on the eye, of which retinopathy is the most common presentation. Hypertensive retinopathy consists of retinal vascular changes that develop as a direct effect of elevated blood pressure. In acute increases of blood pressure, autoregulation results in retinal arteriolar narrowing. Hypertensive Retinopathy: characterized by retinal hemorrhages, exudates, and papilledema Papilledema Swelling of the optic disk, usually in association with increased intracranial pressure, characterized by hyperemia, blurring of the disk margins, microhemorrhages, blind spot enlargement, and engorgement of retinal veins. Chronic papilledema may cause optic atrophy and visual loss. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in the setting of severe hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension. Management consists of aggressive but careful lowering of the blood pressure and immediate ophthalmologic consultation to avoid or minimize vision Vision Ophthalmic Exam loss. 
  • Hypertensive heart disease: Cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy Cardiomyopathy refers to a group of myocardial diseases associated with structural changes of the heart muscles (myocardium) and impaired systolic and/or diastolic function in the absence of other heart disorders (coronary artery disease, hypertension, valvular disease, and congenital heart disease). Cardiomyopathy: Overview and Types is directly attributable to the physiologic compensations the  myocardium Myocardium The muscle tissue of the heart. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow. Heart: Anatomy must make to maintain cardiac output Cardiac output The volume of blood passing through the heart per unit of time. It is usually expressed as liters (volume) per minute so as not to be confused with stroke volume (volume per beat). Cardiac Mechanics in the face of chronically elevated afterload Afterload Afterload is the resistance in the aorta that prevents blood from leaving the heart. Afterload represents the pressure the LV needs to overcome to eject blood into the aorta. Cardiac Mechanics and may result in systolic dysfunction Systolic dysfunction Dilated Cardiomyopathy, diastolic dysfunction Diastolic dysfunction Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, valvular dysfunction, increased arrhythmogenic potential, and myocardial ischemia Myocardial ischemia A disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart. The decreased blood flow may be due to narrowing of the coronary arteries (coronary artery disease), to obstruction by a thrombus (coronary thrombosis), or less commonly, to diffuse narrowing of arterioles and other small vessels within the heart. Coronary Heart Disease (even with normal coronary arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology). Management consists of blood pressure optimization and prevention of heart failure Heart Failure A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (ventricular dysfunction), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as myocardial infarction. Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR), arrhythmia, and ischemia Ischemia A hypoperfusion of the blood through an organ or tissue caused by a pathologic constriction or obstruction of its blood vessels, or an absence of blood circulation. Ischemic Cell Damage
  • Hypertensive nephropathy: progressive nephrosclerosis Nephrosclerosis Hardening of the kidney due to infiltration by fibrous connective tissue (fibrosis), usually caused by renovascular diseases or chronic hypertension. Nephrosclerosis leads to renal ischemia. Liddle Syndrome involving the renal vasculature, glomeruli, and tubulointerstitial elements in the setting of uncontrolled hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension. The long-term result is progressive loss of kidney function ultimately manifesting as end-stage renal disease that may require hemodialysis Hemodialysis Procedures which temporarily or permanently remedy insufficient cleansing of body fluids by the kidneys. Crush Syndrome
  • Obstetric hypertensive complications: chronic hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, gestational hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension, preeclampsia Preeclampsia A complication of pregnancy, characterized by a complex of symptoms including maternal hypertension and proteinuria with or without pathological edema. Symptoms may range between mild and severe. Pre-eclampsia usually occurs after the 20th week of gestation, but may develop before this time in the presence of trophoblastic disease. Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders, eclampsia Eclampsia Onset of hyperreflexia; seizures; or coma in a previously diagnosed pre-eclamptic patient (pre-eclampsia). Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders, and HELLP syndrome HELLP syndrome A severe form of preeclampsia with Hemolysis (with: LDH > 600 IU/L, ↑ Bilirubin, Schistocytes on blood smear, Anemia), ↑ Liver enzymes (with AST and/or AST > 2 times upper limit of normal), ↓ Platelet count, and thrombocytopenia (< 100,000). Hypertensive Pregnancy Disorders are the obstetric complications of pregnancy Pregnancy The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (embryos or fetuses) in utero before birth, beginning from fertilization to birth. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care that can pose health risks to the mother and fetus. Management includes control of blood pressure and delivery of the fetus.

References

  1. Varon, J., Elliot, W. (2020). Management of severe asymptomatic hypertension (hypertensive urgencies) in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved July 10, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/management-of-severe-asymptomatic-hypertension-hypertensive-urgencies-in-adults
  2. Varon, J., Elliot, W. (2021). Evaluation and treatment of hypertensive emergencies in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved July 10, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/evaluation-and-treatment-of-hypertensive-emergencies-in-adults
  3. Townsend, R. (2020). Definition, risk factors, and evaluation of resistant hypertension. UpToDate. Retrieved July 10, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/definition-risk-factors-and-evaluation-of-resistant-hypertension
  4. Mann, S. (2019). Labile hypertension. UpToDate. Retrieved July 10, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/labile-hypertension
  5. Varon, J., Elliot, W. (2019). Drugs used for the treatment of hypertensive emergencies. UpToDate. Retrieved July 10, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/drugs-used-for-the-treatment-of-hypertensive-emergencies

USMLE™ is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®). MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). NCLEX®, NCLEX-RN®, and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN®). None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Lecturio.

Study on the Go

Lecturio Medical complements your studies with evidence-based learning strategies, video lectures, quiz questions, and more – all combined in one easy-to-use resource.

Learn even more with Lecturio:

Complement your med school studies with Lecturio’s all-in-one study companion, delivered with evidence-based learning strategies.

User Reviews

¡Hola!

Esta página está disponible en Español.

Details