What is accelerated hypertension?

Accelerated hypertension (also called malignant hypertension) is a disease characterized by a rapid and sudden increase in blood pressure over the baseline level that, if untreated, poses a threat of damage to organs and tissues.

Accelerated hypertension is an uncommon cardiovascular disease in the United States. In contrast, approximately one-quarter of the people in United States have essential or secondary hypertension (Source: CDC).

It is not known why accelerated hypertension develops in some people with hypertension and not in others.

The signs and symptoms of accelerated hypertension occur suddenly and represent a medical emergency. People with accelerated hypertension have extremely high blood pressure that poses a risk of serious or life-threatening symptoms if untreated. Fortunately, accelerated hypertension can be treated successfully with antihypertensive medications.

Left untreated, accelerated hypertension can progress to hypertensive emergency and result in organ damage. Severe organ damage can cause stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or coma and may be life threatening.Seek prompt medical care if you develop headache, irregular heartbeat, nosebleed, or vision changes. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have symptoms of extremely high blood pressure, such as chest pain or pressure, cough, shortness of breath, blurred vision, confusion, reduced urine production, nausea or vomiting, or seizure.


SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of accelerated hypertension?

Accelerated hypertension causes a dramatic increase in blood pressure. No other symptoms may be present when the initial rise in blood pressure occurs, but if the high blood pressure is not treated, there is a risk of hypertensive emergency with damage to multiple organs.

Common symptoms of hypertensive emergency

A hypertensive emergency may develop if accelerated hyper... Read more about accelerated hypertensionsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes accelerated hypertension?

Accelerated hypertension is caused by a rapid progression of existing hypertension. Hypertension itself is influenced by factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and drug use. Hypertension occurs most frequently in men and in people who are African American, have heart disease, Read more about accelerated hypertensioncauses

TREATMENTS

How is accelerated hypertension treated?

Treatment for hypertension begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. Hypertension is difficult to control, so it is important to follow your treatment plan for accelerated hypertension precisely and to take all of your medications as instructed. Accelerated hypertension requires prompt treatment with medications to bring down your blood pressure to safe levels to prevent ... Read more about accelerated hypertensiontreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Heart, Blood and Circulation