Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Hypertensive Urgency Overview

What is hypertensive urgency?
A person with hypertensive urgency has a severely elevated blood pressure, but has no symptoms. In someone with hypertensive urgency, the systolic blood pressure (top number) is over 220 or the diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) is over 115. Hypertensive urgency requires treatment within a few days, and usually responds well to blood pressure medication.

What are the symptoms of a hypertensive urgency?
There are usually no symptoms associated with hypertensive urgency. Hypertensive urgency becomes hypertensive emergency if symptoms develop, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, headache or vision changes.

How does the doctor treat a hypertensive urgency?
Treatment for a hypertensive urgency includes medications to slowly bring down the blood pressure.

Last Updated: May 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hypertensive Urgency References
  1. Kearney PM, Whelton M, Reynolds K, Whelton PK, He J. Worldwide prevalence of hypertension: a systematic review. J Hypertens. 2004 Jan;22(1):11-9. [15106785]
  2. Then KL, Rankin JA. Hypertension: a review for clinicians. Nurs Clin North Am. 2004 Dec;39(4):793-814. [15561162]
  3. Toto RD. Hypertension and kidney literature review 2000. Clin Nephrol. 2002 Oct;58(4):253-9. [12400839]
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