Fast Five Quiz: Review Key Information on Hypertensive Emergencies

Richard H. Sinert, DO


January 02, 2018

Hypertensive emergencies encompass a spectrum of clinical presentations in which uncontrolled blood pressures (BPs) lead to progressive or impending end-organ dysfunction. In these conditions, the BP should be lowered aggressively over minutes to hours. Both hypertensive emergencies and hypertensive urgencies involve similar BP elevations (160-180 mm Hg, systolic); however, only hypertensive emergencies have evidence of life-threatening end-organ damage that requires rapid antihypertensive medications.

With the advent of antihypertensives, the incidence of hypertensive emergencies in the United States has declined from 7% to approximately 1% of patients with hypertension. In addition, the 1-year survival rate associated with this condition has increased from only 20% to a survival rate of more than 90% with appropriate medical treatment. However, the number of emergency department (ED) visits for hypertensive emergencies and the rate per million adult ED visits increased more than two-fold from 2006 to 2013.

Are you able to promptly recognize and treat these potentially deadly situations? Test yourself with our short quiz.


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