Hypertension is a common problem encountered in everyday clinical practice. Patients with poorly controlled hypertension may present to the emergency room with hypertensive emergency - severely elevated blood pressure associated with end organ damage, involving neurological, cardiovascular or renal systems. There is a paucity of literature regarding the preferred rate of decline of blood pressure, while treating these patients, as well as the appropriate medications to be used. Based on expert opinion and anecdotal data, it is recommended that the initial management should focus on promptly identifying impending or established end organ damage and decreasing the blood pressure by about 25% in the first 2 hours, except in aortic dissection where rapid lowering of blood pressure is recommended. This review provides a focused approach to the management of hypertensive emergencies.
Last date updated on July, 2014