Malignant hypertension is very high blood pressure that comes on suddenly and quickly. The lower (diastolic) blood pressure reading, which is normally less than 80 mmHg, is often above 130 mmHg.
The disorder affects about 1% of people with malignant hypertension, including both children and adults. It is more common in younger adults, especially African-American men usually get this malignant hypertension.
This is seriously malignant hypertension also occurs in people with:
- Collagen vascular disorders (such as systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis,and periarteritis nodosa)
- Kidney problems
- Toxemia of pregnancy
You are at high risk for malignant hypertension if you have had:
- Kidney failure
- Renal hypertension caused by renal artery stenosis.
- Blurred vision
- Unstable in mental status, such as: Anxiety, Confusion, Decreased alertness, Ability down to concentrate, Fatigue, Restlessness, Sleepiness, Stupor, Lethargy
- Chest pain (feeling of crushing or pressure)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Numbness of the arms, legs, face, or other areas
- Reduced urine output
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness of the arms, legs, face, or other areas
Exams and Tests
Malignant hypertension is a medical emergency.
A physical exam to patient commonly shows:
- Extremely high blood pressure
- Swelling in the lower legs and feet
- Abnormal heart sounds and fluid in the lungs
- Changes in thinking, sensation, muscle ability, and reflexes
An eye examination will reveal changes that indicate malignant hypertension effect, including:
- Bleeding of the retina (back part of the eye)
- Narrowing of the blood vessels in the retina
- Swelling of the optic nerve
- Other problems with the retina
Kidney failure maybe happen as other complications and gone starting damage.
Tests to determine damage to the kidneys may include:
- Arterial blood gas analysis
A chest x-ray may show congestion in the lung and an enlarged heart.
This malignant hypertension may also affect the results of the following tests:
- Aldosterone level
- Cardiac enzymes (markers of heart damage)
- CT scan of the brain
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Renin level
- Urinary sediment